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In this study, the authors explored the utility of a descriptive and predictive bionetwork model for phospholipase C-coupled calcium signalling pathways, built with non-kinetic experimental information. Boolean models generated from these data yield oscillatory activity patterns for both the endoplasmic reticulum resident inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) and the plasma-membrane resident canonical transient receptor potential channel 3 (TRPC3). These results are specific as randomisation of the Boolean operators ablates oscillatory pattern formation. Furthermore, knock-out simulations of the IP3R, TRPC3 and multiple other proteins recapitulate experimentally derived results. The potential of this approach can be observed by its ability to predict previously undescribed cellular phenotypes using in vitro experimental data. Indeed, our cellular analysis of the developmental and calcium-regulatory protein, DANGER1a, confirms the counter-intuitive predictions from our Boolean models in two highly relevant cellular models. Based on these results, the authors theorise that with sufficient legacy knowledge and/or computational biology predictions, Boolean networks can provide a robust method for predictive modelling of any biological system.
Date of Publication: May 2011