Rules for Modeling Signal-Transduction Systems

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Science's STKE  18 Jul 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 344, pp. re6
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3442006re6

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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.