Obtaining and Estimating Kinetic Parameters from the Literature

Science Signaling  20 Sep 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 191, pp. tr8
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2001988

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This Teaching Resource provides lecture notes, slides, and a student assignment for a lecture on strategies for the development of mathematical models. Many biological processes can be represented mathematically as systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Simulations with these mathematical models can provide mechanistic insight into the underlying biology of the system. A prerequisite for running simulations, however, is the identification of kinetic parameters that correspond closely with the biological reality. This lecture presents an overview of the steps required for the development of kinetic ODE models and describes experimental methods that can yield kinetic parameters and concentrations of reactants, which are essential for the development of kinetic models. Strategies are provided to extract necessary parameters from published data. The homework assignment requires students to find parameters appropriate for a well-studied biological regulatory system, convert these parameters into appropriate units, and interpret how different values of these parameters may lead to different biological behaviors.

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