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BMC Biol. 2015 Jul 1;13:46. doi: 10.1186/s12915-015-0158-9.

Models in biology: lessons from modeling regulation of the eukaryotic cell cycle.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, USA.
  • 2Oxford Centre for Integrative Systems Biology, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QU, UK. bela.novak@bioch.ox.ac.uk.

Abstract

In this essay we illustrate some general principles of mathematical modeling in biology by our experiences in studying the molecular regulatory network underlying eukaryotic cell division. We discuss how and why the models moved from simple, parsimonious cartoons to more complex, detailed mechanisms with many kinetic parameters. We describe how the mature models made surprising and informative predictions about the control system that were later confirmed experimentally. Along the way, we comment on the 'parameter estimation problem' and conclude with an appeal for a greater role for mathematical models in molecular cell biology.

PMID:
26129844
PMCID:
PMC4486427
DOI:
10.1186/s12915-015-0158-9
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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