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J Math Biol. 2010 Jun;60(6):849-79. doi: 10.1007/s00285-009-0289-0. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

An age-dependent feedback control model of calcium dynamics in yeast cells.

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  • 1Department of Biology, FH 406, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204-1099, USA.


The functional decline of selected proteins or organelles leads to aging at the intracellular level. Identification of these proteins or organelles is usually challenging to traditional single-factor approaches since these factors are inter-connected via feedback or feedforward controls. Establishing a feedback control model to simulate the interactions of multiple factors is an insightful approach to guide the search for proteins involved in aging. However, there are only a few mathematical models describing the age-dependent accumulation of DNA mutations, which are directly or indirectly induced by deterioration of the intracellular environment including alteration of calcium homeostasis, a contributor of aging. Thus, based on Cui and Kaandorp's model, we develop an age-dependent mathematical model for the calcium homeostasis in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our model contains cell cycle-dependent aging factors and can qualitatively reproduce calcium shocks and calcium accumulations in cells observed in experiments. Using this model, we predict calcium oscillations in wild type, pmc1 Delta, and pmr1 Delta cells. This prediction suggests that Pmr1p plays a major role in regulating cytosolic calcium. Combining the model with our experimental lifespan data, we predict an upper-limit of cytosolic calcium tolerance for cell survival. This prediction indicates that, for aged cells (>35 generations), no pmr1 Delta can tolerate the cytosolic calcium concentration of 0.1 microM while a very small fraction (1%) of aged wild type cells (>50 generations) can tolerate a high cytosolic calcium concentration of 0.5 microM.

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