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Bistability-preserving model reduction of a caspase activation model

Models of biological systems are usually required to display some characteristic dynamic behaviour that can be observed in the considered system. An example of such a case is the switch&endash;like behaviour of the caspase activation cascade in apoptosis, which our group has proposed a dynamical model for (see TNF projects).

Dynamical models of biological systems can become rather complex. Thus one often uses model reduction methods to reduce the complexity of the model. However, it is important that the dynamic features that the model should describe are also present in the reduced model.

An important dynamic feature of the caspase activation model is its bistability, which is used to model the switch&endash;like behaviour found in the real system. Based on a method introduced by Schmidt and Jacobsen [IEE Syst. Biol. 1(2004):149&endash;158], we investigated the contribution of each model component to the bistable behaviour and developed approaches to reduce the model in such a way that bistability is preserved.

Using our approach, the model can be reduced to half its original size, and yet the qualitative behaviour and some quantitative properties can be preserved.

Contact: Steffen Waldherr, Thomas Eißing

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University Stuttgart      Logo University MagdeburgUniversität Magdeburg      Logo University of LiègeUniversity of Liège last modified by sysbio 25 May. 2009