ABSTRACT: Modelers of molecular signaling networks must cope with the combinatorial explosion of protein states generated by posttranslational modifications and complex formation. Rule-based models provide a powerful alternative to approaches that require explicit enumeration of all possible molecular species of a system. Such models consist of formal rules stipulating the (partial) contexts wherein specific protein-protein interactions occur. These contexts specify molecular patterns that are usually less detailed than molecular species. Yet, the execution of rule-based dynamics requires stochastic simulation, which can be very costly. It thus appears desirable to convert a rule-based model into a reduced system of differential equations by exploiting the granularity at which rules specify interactions. We present a formal (and automated) method for constructing a coarse-grained and self-consistent dynamical system aimed at molecular patterns that are distinguishable by the dynamics of the original system as posited by the rules. The method is formally sound and never requires the execution of the rule-based model. The coarse-grained variables do not depend on the values of the rate constants appearing in the rules, and typically form a system of greatly reduced dimension that can be amenable to numerical integration and further model reduction techniques.
Project description:Rule acquisition is one of the main purposes in the analysis of formal decision contexts. Up to now, there have been several types of rules in formal decision contexts such as decision rules, decision implications, and granular rules, which can be viewed as ∧-rules since all of them have the following form: "if conditions 1,2,…, and m hold, then decisions hold." In order to enrich the existing rule acquisition theory in formal decision contexts, this study puts forward two new types of rules which are called ∨-rules and ∨-∧ mixed rules based on formal, object-oriented, and property-oriented concept lattices. Moreover, a comparison of ∨-rules, ∨-∧ mixed rules, and ∧-rules is made from the perspectives of inclusion and inference relationships. Finally, some real examples and numerical experiments are conducted to compare the proposed rule acquisition algorithms with the existing one in terms of the running efficiency.
Project description:Coarse-grained rules are widely used in chemistry, physics and engineering. In biology, however, such rules are less common and under-appreciated. This gap can be attributed to the difficulty in establishing general rules to encompass the immense diversity and complexity of biological systems. Furthermore, even when a rule is established, it is often challenging to map it to mechanistic details and to quantify these details. Here we report a framework that addresses these challenges for mutualistic systems. We first deduce a general rule that predicts the various outcomes of mutualistic systems, including coexistence and productivity. We further develop a standardized machine-learning-based calibration procedure to use the rule without the need to fully elucidate or characterize their mechanistic underpinnings. Our approach consistently provides explanatory and predictive power with various simulated and experimental mutualistic systems. Our strategy can pave the way for establishing and implementing other simple rules for biological systems.
Project description:Although discrete approaches are increasingly employed to model biological phenomena, it remains unclear how complex, population-level behaviours in such frameworks arise from the rules used to represent interactions between individuals. Discrete-to-continuum approaches, which are used to derive systems of coarse-grained equations describing the mean-field dynamics of a microscopic model, can provide insight into such emergent behaviour. Coarse-grained models often contain nonlinear terms that depend on the microscopic rules of the discrete framework, however, and such nonlinearities can make a model difficult to mathematically analyse. By contrast, models developed using phenomenological approaches are typically easier to investigate but have a more obscure connection to the underlying microscopic system. To our knowledge, there has been little work done to compare solutions of phenomenological and coarse-grained models. Here we address this problem in the context of angiogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels from existing vasculature). We compare asymptotic solutions of a classical, phenomenological "snail-trail" model for angiogenesis to solutions of a nonlinear system of partial differential equations (PDEs) derived via a systematic coarse-graining procedure (Pillay et al. in Phys Rev E 95(1):012410, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.95.012410 ). For distinguished parameter regimes corresponding to chemotaxis-dominated cell movement and low branching rates, both continuum models reduce at leading order to identical PDEs within the domain interior. Numerical and analytical results confirm that pointwise differences between solutions to the two continuum models are small if these conditions hold, and demonstrate how perturbation methods can be used to determine when a phenomenological model provides a good approximation to a more detailed coarse-grained system for the same biological process.
Project description:Molecular dynamics with coarse-grained models is nowadays extensively used to simulate biomolecular systems at large time and size scales, compared to those accessible to all-atom molecular dynamics. In this review article, we describe the physical basis of coarse-grained molecular dynamics, the coarse-grained force fields, the equations of motion and the respective numerical integration algorithms, and selected practical applications of coarse-grained molecular dynamics. We demonstrate that the motion of coarse-grained sites is governed by the potential of mean force and the friction and stochastic forces, resulting from integrating out the secondary degrees of freedom. Consequently, Langevin dynamics is a natural means of describing the motion of a system at the coarse-grained level and the potential of mean force is the physical basis of the coarse-grained force fields. Moreover, the choice of coarse-grained variables and the fact that coarse-grained sites often do not have spherical symmetry implies a non-diagonal inertia tensor. We describe selected coarse-grained models used in molecular dynamics simulations, including the most popular MARTINI model developed by Marrink's group and the UNICORN model of biological macromolecules developed in our laboratory. We conclude by discussing examples of the application of coarse-grained molecular dynamics to study biologically important processes.
Project description:Rule-based modeling was developed to address the limitations of traditional approaches for modeling chemical kinetics in cell signaling systems. These systems consist of multiple interacting biomolecules (e.g., proteins), which themselves consist of multiple parts (e.g., domains, linear motifs, and sites of phosphorylation). Consequently, biomolecules that mediate information processing generally have the potential to interact in multiple ways, with the number of possible complexes and posttranslational modification states tending to grow exponentially with the number of binary interactions considered. As a result, only large reaction networks capture all possible consequences of the molecular interactions that occur in a cell signaling system, which is problematic because traditional modeling approaches for chemical kinetics (e.g., ordinary differential equations) require explicit network specification. This problem is circumvented through representation of interactions in terms of local rules. With this approach, network specification is implicit and model specification is concise. Concise representation results in a coarse graining of chemical kinetics, which is introduced because all reactions implied by a rule inherit the rate law associated with that rule. Coarse graining can be appropriate if interactions are modular, and the coarseness of a model can be adjusted as needed. Rules can be specified using specialized model-specification languages, and recently developed tools designed for specification of rule-based models allow one to leverage powerful software engineering capabilities. A rule-based model comprises a set of rules, which can be processed by general-purpose simulation and analysis tools to achieve different objectives (e.g., to perform either a deterministic or stochastic simulation).
Project description:We developed a new multiresolution method that spans three levels of resolution with quantum mechanical, atomistic molecular mechanical, and coarse-grained models. The resolution-adapted all-atom and coarse-grained water model, in which an all-atom structural description of the entire system is maintained during the simulations, is combined with the ab initio quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics method. We apply this model to calculate the redox potentials of the aqueous ruthenium and iron complexes by using the fractional number of electrons approach and thermodynamic integration simulations. The redox potentials are recovered in excellent accordance with the experimental data. The speed-up of the hybrid all-atom and coarse-grained water model renders it computationally more attractive. The accuracy depends on the hybrid all-atom and coarse-grained water model used in the combined quantum mechanical and molecular mechanical method. We have used another multiresolution model, in which an atomic-level layer of water molecules around redox center is solvated in supramolecular coarse-grained waters for the redox potential calculations. Compared with the experimental data, this alternative multilayer model leads to less accurate results when used with the coarse-grained polarizable MARTINI water or big multipole water model for the coarse-grained layer.
Project description:The metabolic modelling community has established the gold standard for bottom-up systems biology with reconstruction, validation and simulation of mechanistic genome-scale models. Similar methods have not been established for signal transduction networks, where the representation of complexes and internal states leads to scalability issues in both model formulation and execution. While rule- and agent-based methods allow efficient model definition and execution, respectively, model parametrisation introduces an additional layer of uncertainty due to the sparsity of reliably measured parameters. Here, we present a scalable method for parameter-free simulation of mechanistic signal transduction networks. It is based on rxncon and uses a bipartite Boolean logic with separate update rules for reactions and states. Using two generic update rules, we enable translation of any rxncon model into a unique Boolean model, which can be used for network validation and simulation-allowing the prediction of system-level function directly from molecular mechanistic data. Through scalable model definition and simulation, and the independence of quantitative parameters, it opens up for simulation and validation of mechanistic genome-scale models of signal transduction networks.
Project description:This paper gives a systematic method for constructing an N-body potential, approximating the true potential, that accurately captures meso-scale behavior of the chemical or biological system using pairwise potentials coming from experimental data or ab initio methods. The meso-scale behavior is translated into logic rules for the dynamics. Each pairwise potential has an associated logic function that is constructed using the logic rules, a class of elementary logic functions, and AND, OR, and NOT gates. The effect of each logic function is to turn its associated potential on and off. The N-body potential is constructed as linear combination of the pairwise potentials, where the "coefficients" of the potentials are smoothed versions of the associated logic functions. These potentials allow a potentially low-dimensional description of complex processes while still accurately capturing the relevant physics at the meso-scale. We present the proposed formalism to construct coarse-grained potential models for three examples: an inhibitor molecular system, bond breaking in chemical reactions, and DNA transcription from biology. The method can potentially be used in reverse for design of molecular processes by specifying properties of molecules that can carry them out.
Project description:A coarse-grained model for molecular dynamics simulations is extended from lipids to proteins. In the framework of such models pioneered by Klein, atoms are described group-wise by beads, with the interactions between beads governed by effective potentials. The extension developed here is based on a coarse-grained lipid model developed previously by Marrink et al., although future versions will reconcile the approach taken with the systematic approach of Klein and other authors. Each amino acid of the protein is represented by two coarse-grained beads, one for the backbone (identical for all residues) and one for the side-chain (which differs depending on the residue type). The coarse-graining reduces the system size about 10-fold and allows integration time steps of 25-50 fs. The model is applied to simulations of discoidal high-density lipoprotein particles involving water, lipids, and two primarily helical proteins. These particles are an ideal test system for the extension of coarse-grained models. Our model proved to be reliable in maintaining the shape of preassembled particles and in reproducing the overall structural features of high-density lipoproteins accurately. Microsecond simulations of lipoprotein assembly revealed the formation of a protein-lipid complex in which two proteins are attached to either side of a discoidal lipid bilayer.
Project description:Molecular dynamics simulations of mixtures of the ceramide nonhydroxy-sphingosine (NS), cholesterol, and a free fatty acid are performed to gain molecular-level understanding of the structure of the lipids found in the stratum corneum layer of skin. A new coarse-grained force field for cholesterol was developed using the multistate iterative Boltzmann inversion (MS-IBI) method. The coarse-grained cholesterol force field is compatible with previously developed coarse-grained force fields for ceramide NS, free fatty acids, and water and validated against atomistic simulations of these lipids using the CHARMM force field. Self-assembly simulations of multilayer structures using these coarse-grained force fields are performed, revealing that a large fraction of the ceramides adopt extended conformations, which cannot occur in the single bilayer in water structures typically studied using molecular simulation. Cholesterol fluidizes the membrane by promoting packing defects, and an increase in cholesterol content is found to reduce the bilayer thickness due to an increase in interdigitation of the C<sub>24</sub> lipid tails, consistent with experimental observations. Using a reverse-mapping procedure, a self-assembled coarse-grained multilayer system is used to construct an equivalent structure with atomistic resolution. Simulations of this atomistic structure are found to closely agree with experimentally derived neutron scattering length density profiles. Significant interlayer hydrogen bonding is observed in the inner layers of the atomistic multilayer structure that are not found in the outer layers in contact with water or in equivalent bilayer structures. This work highlights the importance of simulating multilayer structures, as compared to the more commonly studied bilayer systems, to enable more appropriate comparisons with multilayer experimental membranes. These results also provide validation of the efficacy of the MS-IBI derived coarse-grained force fields and the framework for multiscale simulation.