Virtual Mutagenesis of the Yeast Cyclins Genetic Network Reveals Complex Dynamics of Transcriptional Control Networks
Study of genetic networks has moved from qualitative description of interactions between regulators and regulated genes to the analysis of the interaction dynamics. This paper focuses on the analysis of dynamics of one particular network – the yeast cyclins network. Using a dedicated mathematical model of gene expression and a procedure for computation of the parameters of the model from experimental data, a complete numerical model of the dynamics of the cyclins genetic network was attained. The model allowed for performing virtual experiments on the network and observing their influence on the expression dynamics of the genes downstream in the regulatory cascade. Results show that when the network structure is more complicated, and the regulatory interactions are indirect, results of gene deletion are highly unpredictable. As a consequence of quantitative behavior of the genes and their connections within the network, causal relationship between a regulator and target gene may not be discovered by gene deletion. Without including the dynamics of the system into the network, its functional properties cannot be studied and interpreted correctly.
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