A framework for modeling of juxtacrinesignaling systems

L.C.S. Rozante, M.D. Gubitoso, S.R. Matioli
Published October 05, 2007
Genet. Mol. Res. 6 (4): 821-845 (2007)

About the authors
L.C.S. Rozante, M.D. Gubitoso, S.R. Matioli

Corresponding author
L.C.S. Rozante
E-mail: luiz.rozante@imes.edu.br


Juxtacrine signaling is intercellular communication, in which the receptor of the signal (typically a protein) as well as the ligand (also typically a protein, responsible for the activation of the receptor) are anchored in the plasma membranes, so that in this type of signaling the activation of the receptor depends on direct contact between the membranes of the cells involved. Juxtacrine signaling is present in many important cellular events of several organisms, especially in the development process. We propose a generic formal model (a modeling framework) for juxtacrine signaling systems that is a class of discrete dynamic systems. It possesses desirable characteristics in a good modeling framework, such as: a) structural similarity with biological models, b) capacity of operating in different scales of time, and c) capacity of explicitly treating both the events and molecular elements that occur in the membrane, and those that occur in the intracellular environment and that are involved in the juxtacrine signaling process. We have implemented this framework and used it to develop a new three-level discrete model for the neurogenic network and its participation in neuroblast segregation. This paper presents the details of this framework and its current status.

Key words: Juxtacrine signaling, Discrete dynamical systems, Neurogenic network 

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