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A method of ‘speed coefficients’ for biochemical model reduction applied to the NF-κB system

West, Simon; Bridge, Lloyd J.; White, Michael R. H.; Paszek, Pawel; Biktashev, Vadim N.


Simon West

Lloyd Bridge
Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

Michael R. H. White

Pawel Paszek

Vadim N. Biktashev


© 2014, The Author(s). The relationship between components of biochemical network and the resulting dynamics of the overall system is a key focus of computational biology. However, as these networks and resulting mathematical models are inherently complex and non-linear, the understanding of this relationship becomes challenging. Among many approaches, model reduction methods provide an avenue to extract components responsible for the key dynamical features of the system. Unfortunately, these approaches often require intuition to apply. In this manuscript we propose a practical algorithm for the reduction of biochemical reaction systems using fast-slow asymptotics. This method allows the ranking of system variables according to how quickly they approach their momentary steady state, thus selecting the fastest for a steady state approximation. We applied this method to derive models of the Nuclear Factor kappa B network, a key regulator of the immune response that exhibits oscillatory dynamics. Analyses with respect to two specific solutions, which corresponded to different experimental conditions identified different components of the system that were responsible for the respective dynamics. This is an important demonstration of how reduction methods that provide approximations around a specific steady state, could be utilised in order to gain a better understanding of network topology in a broader context.


West, S., Bridge, L. J., White, M. R. H., Paszek, P., & Biktashev, V. N. (2015). A method of ‘speed coefficients’ for biochemical model reduction applied to the NF-κB system. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 70(3), 591-620.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2014
Online Publication Date Mar 22, 2014
Publication Date Feb 1, 2015
Journal Journal of Mathematical Biology
Print ISSN 0303-6812
Electronic ISSN 1432-1416
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Issue 3
Pages 591-620
Keywords model reduction, characteristic timescales, signalling networks, nuclear factor kappa B
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