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2.  Intervention in Biological Phenomena via Feedback Linearization 
Advances in Bioinformatics  2012;2012:534810.
The problems of modeling and intervention of biological phenomena have captured the interest of many researchers in the past few decades. The aim of the therapeutic intervention strategies is to move an undesirable state of a diseased network towards a more desirable one. Such an objective can be achieved by the application of drugs to act on some genes/metabolites that experience the undesirable behavior. For the purpose of design and analysis of intervention strategies, mathematical models that can capture the complex dynamics of the biological systems are needed. S-systems, which offer a good compromise between accuracy and mathematical flexibility, are a promising framework for modeling the dynamical behavior of biological phenomena. Due to the complex nonlinear dynamics of the biological phenomena represented by S-systems, nonlinear intervention schemes are needed to cope with the complexity of the nonlinear S-system models. Here, we present an intervention technique based on feedback linearization for biological phenomena modeled by S-systems. This technique is based on perfect knowledge of the S-system model. The proposed intervention technique is applied to the glycolytic-glycogenolytic pathway, and simulation results presented demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed technique.
PMCID: PMC3502753  PMID: 23209459
3.  Boolean modeling and fault diagnosis in oxidative stress response 
BMC Genomics  2012;13(Suppl 6):S4.
Oxidative stress is a consequence of normal and abnormal cellular metabolism and is linked to the development of human diseases. The effective functioning of the pathway responding to oxidative stress protects the cellular DNA against oxidative damage; conversely the failure of the oxidative stress response mechanism can induce aberrant cellular behavior leading to diseases such as neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Thus, understanding the normal signaling present in oxidative stress response pathways and determining possible signaling alterations leading to disease could provide us with useful pointers for therapeutic purposes. Using knowledge of oxidative stress response pathways from the literature, we developed a Boolean network model whose simulated behavior is consistent with earlier experimental observations from the literature. Concatenating the oxidative stress response pathways with the PI3-Kinase-Akt pathway, the oxidative stress is linked to the phenotype of apoptosis, once again through a Boolean network model. Furthermore, we present an approach for pinpointing possible fault locations by using temporal variations in the oxidative stress input and observing the resulting deviations in the apoptotic signature from the normally predicted pathway. Such an approach could potentially form the basis for designing more effective combination therapies against complex diseases such as cancer.
In this paper, we have developed a Boolean network model for the oxidative stress response. This model was developed based on pathway information from the current literature pertaining to oxidative stress. Where applicable, the behaviour predicted by the model is in agreement with experimental observations from the published literature. We have also linked the oxidative stress response to the phenomenon of apoptosis via the PI3k/Akt pathway.
It is our hope that some of the additional predictions here, such as those pertaining to the oscillatory behaviour of certain genes in the presence of oxidative stress, will be experimentally validated in the near future. Of course, it should be pointed out that the theoretical procedure presented here for pinpointing fault locations in a biological network with feedback will need to be further simplified before it can be even considered for practical biological validation.
PMCID: PMC3481480  PMID: 23134720
4.  Recent Advances in Intervention in Markovian Regulatory Networks 
Current Genomics  2009;10(7):463-477.
Markovian regulatory networks constitute a class of discrete state-space models used to study gene regulatory dynamics and discover methods that beneficially alter those dynamics. Thereby, this class of models provides a framework to discover effective drug targets and design potent therapeutic strategies. The salient translational goal is to design therapeutic strategies that desirably modify network dynamics via external signals that vary the expressions of a control gene. The objective of an intervention strategy is to reduce the likelihood of the pathological cellular function related to a disease. The task of finding an effective intervention strategy can be formulated as a sequential decision making problem for a pre-defined cost of intervention and a cost-per-stage function that discriminates the gene-activity profiles. An effective intervention strategy prescribes the actions associated with an external signal that result in the minimum expected cost. This strategy in turn can be used as a treatment that reduces the long-run likelihood of gene expressions favorable to the disease. In this tutorial, we briefly summarize the first method proposed to design such therapeutic interventions, and then move on to some of the recent refinements that have been proposed. Each of these recent intervention methods is motivated by practical or analytical considerations. The presentation of the key ideas is facilitated with the help of two case studies.
PMCID: PMC2808674  PMID: 20436874
Regulatory networks; markovian decision processes; translational genomics; systems biology.
5.  Intervention in Context-Sensitive Probabilistic Boolean Networks Revisited 
An approximate representation for the state space of a context-sensitive probabilistic Boolean network has previously been proposed and utilized to devise therapeutic intervention strategies. Whereas the full state of a context-sensitive probabilistic Boolean network is specified by an ordered pair composed of a network context and a gene-activity profile, this approximate representation collapses the state space onto the gene-activity profiles alone. This reduction yields an approximate transition probability matrix, absent of context, for the Markov chain associated with the context-sensitive probabilistic Boolean network. As with many approximation methods, a price must be paid for using a reduced model representation, namely, some loss of optimality relative to using the full state space. This paper examines the effects on intervention performance caused by the reduction with respect to various values of the model parameters. This task is performed using a new derivation for the transition probability matrix of the context-sensitive probabilistic Boolean network. This expression of transition probability distributions is in concert with the original definition of context-sensitive probabilistic Boolean network. The performance of optimal and approximate therapeutic strategies is compared for both synthetic networks and a real case study. It is observed that the approximate representation describes the dynamics of the context-sensitive probabilistic Boolean network through the instantaneously random probabilistic Boolean network with similar parameters.
PMCID: PMC3171424  PMID: 19404383
6.  Optimal Constrained Stationary Intervention in Gene Regulatory Networks 
A key objective of gene network modeling is to develop intervention strategies to alter regulatory dynamics in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of undesirable phenotypes. Optimal stationary intervention policies have been developed for gene regulation in the framework of probabilistic Boolean networks in a number of settings. To mitigate the possibility of detrimental side effects, for instance, in the treatment of cancer, it may be desirable to limit the expected number of treatments beneath some bound. This paper formulates a general constraint approach for optimal therapeutic intervention by suitably adapting the reward function and then applies this formulation to bound the expected number of treatments. A mutated mammalian cell cycle is considered as a case study.
PMCID: PMC3171398  PMID: 18516276

Results 1-6 (6)