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IET Syst Biol. 2007 Jul;1(4):207-21.

Modelling the CheY(D10K,Yl00W) Halobacterium salinarum mutant: sensitivity analysis allows choice of parameter to be modified in the phototaxis model.

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  • 1Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.


A recent phototaxis model of Halobacterium salinarum composed of the signalling pathway and the switch complex of the motor explained all considered experimental data on spontaneous switching and response time to repellent or attractant light stimuli. However, the model which considers symmetric processes in the clockwise and counter-clockwise rotations of the motor cannot explain the behaviour of a CheY(D10K,Yl00W) mutant which always moves forward and does not respond to light. We show that the introduction of asymmetry in the motor switch model can explain this behaviour. Sensitivity analysis allowed us to choose parameters for which the model is sensitive and whose values we then change in either direction to obtain an asymmetric model. We also demonstrate numerically that at low concentrations of CheYP, the symmetric and asymmetric models behave similarly, but at high concentrations, differences in the clockwise and counter-clockwise modes become apparent. Thus, those experimental data that could previously be explained only by ad hoc assumptions are now obtained 'naturally' from the revised model.

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