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Modeling multivalent ligand-receptor interactions with steric constraints on configurations of cell surface receptor aggregates

Description: Signal transduction generally involves multivalent protein-protein interactions, which can produce various protein complexes and post-translational modifications. The reaction networks that characterize these interactions tend to be so large as to challenge conventional simulation procedures. To address this challenge, a kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) method has been developed that can take advantage of a model specification in terms of reaction rules for molecular interactions. A set of rules implicitly defines the reactions that can occur as a result of the interactions represented by the rules. With the rule-based KMC method, explicit generation of the underlying chemical reaction network implied by rules is avoided. Here, we apply and extend this method to characterize the interactions of a trivalent ligand with a bivalent cell-surface receptor. This system is also studied experimentally. We consider the following kinetic models: an equivalent-site model, an extension of this model, which takes into account steric constraints on the configurations of receptor aggregates, and finally, a model that accounts for cyclic receptor aggregates. Simulation results for the equivalent-site model are consistent with an equilibrium continuum model. Using these models, we investigate the effects of steric constraints and the formation of cyclic aggregates on the kinetics and equilibria of small and large aggregate formation and the percolation phase transition that occurs in this system.
Date: January 1, 2008
Creator: Monine, Michael; Posner, Richard; Savage, Paul; Faeder, James & Hlavacek, William S
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department