Abstract by Travis Maekawa
Physics and Astronomy
Model Reduction of Wnt Pathway
Cells process information using signaling pathways made up of proteins that facilitate different types of behaviors.
The Wnt pathway is an important modulator of gene expression that operates by controlling the level of a transcription factor known as Beta-catenin.
Under various conditions, the Wnt pathway can facilitate steady levels of Beta-catenin, as well as both oscillating and adaptive behavior.
Analysis of realistic models of Wnt signaling suggests that it does not use all of the proteins available to it for any single behavior.
Rather, different combinations of mechanisms coordinate to produce the target behavior.
We use model reduction methods to better understand the relationship between the underlying mechanisms and the observed phenomenon in Wnt signaling.
We introduce the concept of a "supremum model", i.e., the simplest model that simultaneously explains several target behaviors, and use it to reason about the mechanisms that drive behavioral transitions.