DOI: 10.1101/012641Dec 12, 2014Paper

Model checking to assess T-helper cell plasticity

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Wassim Abou-JaoudéDenis Thieffry


Computational modeling constitutes a crucial step towards the functional understanding of complex cellular networks. In particular, logical modeling has proven suitable for the dynamical analysis of large signaling and transcriptional regulatory networks. In this context, signaling input components are generally meant to convey external stimuli, or environmental cues. In response to such external signals, cells acquire specific gene expression patterns modeled in terms of attractors ( e.g. stable states). The capacity for cells to alter or reprogram their differentiated states upon changes in environmental conditions is referred to as cell plasticity. In this article, we present a multivalued logical framework along with computational methods recently developed to efficiently analyze large models. We mainly focus on a symbolic model checking approach to investigate switches between attractors subsequent to changes of input conditions. As a case study, we consider the cellular network regulating the differentiation of T-helper cells, which orchestrate many physiological and pathological immune responses. To account for novel cellular subtypes, we present an extended version of a published model of T-helper cell differentiation...Continue Reading

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