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A simple model of two interacting signaling pathways in embryonic Xenopus laevis

Pages: 753 - 760, Issue Special, September 2009

 Abstract        Full Text (128.1K)              

Edwin Tecarro - Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, Tx 77002-1001, United States (email)
Tung Bui - Department of Natural Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, Tx 77002-1001, United States (email)
Marsida Lisi - Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, Tx 77002-1001, United States (email)
Amy Sater - Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-5001, United States (email)
Akif Uzman - Department of Natural Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, Tx 77002-1001, United States (email)

Abstract: A mathematical model of MAPK and BMP-Smad1 signaling pathways in the embryonic development of Xenopus laevis is constructed. The model consists of a system of 4 coupled, nonlinear ordinary differential equations. Numerical computations characterize the biological result that a 4 to 6-fold increase in MAPK activity inhibits Smad1 activity and triggers the neural fate of the embryo's ectodermal cells. Bifurcation analysis of the model shows that this biological result can be explained via transcritical bifurcations involving steady-state MAPK and Smad1 activity levels.

Keywords:  mathematical model, signaling pathway, transcritical bifurcation, MAPK, BMP
Mathematics Subject Classification:  Primary: 92B99; Secondary: 37N25

Received: August 2008;      Revised: August 2009;      Published: September 2009.