Interactions among oscillatory pathways in NF-κB signalling

Wang, Yunjiao and Paszek, Pawel and Horton, Caroline A. and Kell, Douglas B. and White, Michael R. H. and Broomhead, David S. and Muldoon, Mark R. (2011) Interactions among oscillatory pathways in NF-κB signalling. BMC Systems Biology, 5 (1). pp. 1-23. ISSN 1752-0509

[thumbnail of WangEtAl_BMC_SysBio5.pdf] PDF

Download (1MB)


Background: Sustained stimulation with tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) induces substantial oscillations—observed at both the single cell and population levels—in the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) system. Although the mechanism has not yet been elucidated fully, a core system has been identified consisting of a negative feedback loop involving NF-κB (RelA:p50 hetero-dimer) and its inhibitor IκBα. Many authors have suggested that this core oscillator should couple to other oscillatory pathways. Results: First we analyse single-cell data from experiments in which the NF-κB system is forced by short trains of strong pulses of TNFα. Power spectra of the ratio of nuclear to cytoplasmic concentration of NF-κB suggest that the cells' responses are entrained by the pulsing frequency. Using a recent model of the NF-κB system due to Caroline Horton, we carried out extensive numerical simulations to analyze the response frequencies induced by trains of pulses of TNFα stimulation having a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes. These studies suggest that for sufficiently weak stimulation, various nonlinear resonances should be observable. To explore further the possibility of probing alternative feedback mechanisms, we also coupled the model to sinusoidal signals signals with a wide range of strengths and frequencies. Our results show that, at least in simulation, frequencies other than those of the forcing and the main NF-κB oscillator can be excited via sub- and superharmonic resonance, producing quasiperiodic and even chaotic dynamics. Conclusions: Our numerical results suggest that the entrainment phenomena observed in pulse-stimulated experiments is a consequence of the high intensity of the stimulation. Computational studies based on current models suggest that resonant interactions between periodoc pulsatile forcing and the system's natural frequencies may become evident for sufficiently weak stimulation. Further simulations suggest that the nonlinearities of the NF-κB feedback oscillator mean that even sinusoidally modulated forcing can induce a rich variety of nonlinear interactions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NF-κB, signalling pathway, oscillations
Subjects: MSC 2010, the AMS's Mathematics Subject Classification > 37 Dynamical systems and ergodic theory
MSC 2010, the AMS's Mathematics Subject Classification > 92 Biology and other natural sciences
Depositing User: Dr Mark Muldoon
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2011
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2017 14:12

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item