Systematic Analysis of Crosstalk in the PDGF Receptor Signal Transduction Network

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Title: Systematic Analysis of Crosstalk in the PDGF Receptor Signal Transduction Network
Author: Wang, Chun-Chao
Advisors: Carla Mattos, Committee Member
Jason M. Haugh, Committee Chair
Robert M. Kelly, Committee Member
Balaji Rao, Committee Member
Abstract: Intracellular signal transduction is traditionally characterized in terms of pathways, comprised of serial activation processes. Although it is appreciated that canonical signaling pathways are simply dominant routes of regulation embedded in larger interaction networks, relatively little has been done to quantify pathway crosstalk in such networks. Through quantitative measurements that systematically canvas an array of stimulation and molecular perturbation conditions, together with computational modeling and analysis, we have elucidated crosstalk mechanisms in the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor signaling network, in which phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and Ras/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) pathways are prominently activated. We show that, while PI3K signaling is insulated from crosstalk, PI3K enhances Erk activation in multiple ways. Whereas simultaneously blocking Ras and PI3K abolishes PDGF-stimulated Erk phosphorylation, each pathway makes an independent contribution to Erk activation, and PI3K affects Ras activation as well. The magnitudes of these effects depend strongly on the stimulation conditions, subject to saturation effects in the respective pathways and negative feedback loops. Motivated by those dynamics, a kinetic model of the network was formulated and used to precisely quantify the relative contributions of PI3K-dependent and -independent modes of Ras/Erk activation.
Date: 2009-08-19
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Chemical Engineering

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