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Mol Biosyst. 2011 May;7(5):1576-92. doi: 10.1039/c0mb00253d. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Online model checking approach based parameter estimation to a neuronal fate decision simulation model in Caenorhabditis elegans with hybrid functional Petri net with extension.

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Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


Mathematical modeling and simulation studies are playing an increasingly important role in helping researchers elucidate how living organisms function in cells. In systems biology, researchers typically tune many parameters manually to achieve simulation results that are consistent with biological knowledge. This severely limits the size and complexity of simulation models built. In order to break this limitation, we propose a computational framework to automatically estimate kinetic parameters for a given network structure. We utilized an online (on-the-fly) model checking technique (which saves resources compared to the offline approach), with a quantitative modeling and simulation architecture named hybrid functional Petri net with extension (HFPNe). We demonstrate the applicability of this framework by the analysis of the underlying model for the neuronal cell fate decision model (ASE fate model) in Caenorhabditis elegans. First, we built a quantitative ASE fate model containing 3327 components emulating nine genetic conditions. Then, using our developed efficient online model checker, MIRACH 1.0, together with parameter estimation, we ran 20-million simulation runs, and were able to locate 57 parameter sets for 23 parameters in the model that are consistent with 45 biological rules extracted from published biological articles without much manual intervention. To evaluate the robustness of these 57 parameter sets, we run another 20 million simulation runs using different magnitudes of noise. Our simulation results concluded that among these models, one model is the most reasonable and robust simulation model owing to the high stability against these stochastic noises. Our simulation results provide interesting biological findings which could be used for future wet-lab experiments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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