Autonomous Boolean modelling of developmental gene regulatory networks.
During early embryonic development, a network of regulatory interactions among genes dynamically determines a pattern of differentiated tissues. We show that important timing information associated with the interactions can be faithfully represented in autonomous Boolean models in which binary variables representing expression levels are updated in continuous time, and that such models can provide a direct insight into features that are difficult to extract from ordinary differential equation (ODE) models. As an application, we model the experimentally well-studied network controlling fly body segmentation. The Boolean model successfully generates the patterns formed in normal and genetically perturbed fly embryos, permits the derivation of constraints on the time delay parameters, clarifies the logic associated with different ODE parameter sets and provides a platform for studying connectivity and robustness in parameter space. By elucidating the role of regulatory time delays in pattern formation, the results suggest new types of experimental measurements in early embryonic development.
Cheng, X; Sun, M; Socolar, JES
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)