Presentation_1_Quantifying the Stability of Coupled Genetic and Epigenetic Switches With Variational Methods.PDF (201.94 kB)
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Presentation_1_Quantifying the Stability of Coupled Genetic and Epigenetic Switches With Variational Methods.PDF

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posted on 22.01.2021, 05:08 authored by Amogh Sood, Bin Zhang

The Waddington landscape provides an intuitive metaphor to view development as a ball rolling down the hill, with distinct phenotypes as basins and differentiation pathways as valleys. Since, at a molecular level, cell differentiation arises from interactions among the genes, a mathematical definition for the Waddington landscape can, in principle, be obtained by studying the gene regulatory networks. For eukaryotes, gene regulation is inextricably and intimately linked to histone modifications. However, the impact of such modifications on both landscape topography and stability of attractor states is not fully understood. In this work, we introduced a minimal kinetic model for gene regulation that combines the impact of both histone modifications and transcription factors. We further developed an approximation scheme based on variational principles to solve the corresponding master equation in a second quantized framework. By analyzing the steady-state solutions at various parameter regimes, we found that histone modification kinetics can significantly alter the behavior of a genetic network, resulting in qualitative changes in gene expression profiles. The emerging epigenetic landscape captures the delicate interplay between transcription factors and histone modifications in driving cell-fate decisions.

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