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Sci. STKE, 18 July 2006
Vol. 2006, Issue 344, p. re6
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.3442006re6]

Rules for Modeling Signal-Transduction Systems

William S. Hlavacek1*, James R. Faeder2, Michael L. Blinov3, Richard G. Posner4, Michael Hucka5, and Walter Fontana6

1Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.
2Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group, Theoretical Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.
3Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.
4Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA.
5Control and Dynamical Systems, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
6Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Gloss: Signaling molecules that control cellular regulation operate in complex networks of molecular interactions within the cell. Many of the individual proteins undergo multiple posttranslational modifications and can thus exist in numerous biochemically distinct states. We explore how mathematical models can cope with such complexity when intuition is insufficient to understand a regulatory scheme. We review approaches to creation of mathematical models of signaling systems with strategies that keep the models from being unwieldy but still allow them to accurately reflect biological systems. We discuss the translation of information about such signaling pathways into a computer-readable language that could allow interoperability of various models. The review has 10 figures and 155 citations and contains Web links to Web sites relevant to the various modeling efforts discussed.

*Corresponding author. E-mail, wish{at}

Citation: W. S. Hlavacek, J. R. Faeder, M. L. Blinov, R. G. Posner, M. Hucka, W. Fontana, Rules for Modeling Signal-Transduction Systems. Sci. STKE 2006, re6 (2006).

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