Partner: Michael Stumpf

Imperial College London (GB)

Recent publications
1.Jetka T., Nienałtowski K., Filippi S., Stumpf M.P.H., Komorowski M., An information-theoretic framework for deciphering pleiotropic and noisy biochemical signaling, Nature Communications, ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07085-1, Vol.9, pp.4591-1-9, 2018
Abstract:

Many components of signaling pathways are functionally pleiotropic, and signaling responses are marked with substantial cell-to-cell heterogeneity. Therefore, biochemical descriptions of signaling require quantitative support to explain how complex stimuli (inputs) are encoded in distinct activities of pathways effectors (outputs). A unique perspective of information theory cannot be fully utilized due to lack of modeling tools that account for the complexity of biochemical signaling, specifically for multiple inputs and outputs. Here, we develop a modeling framework of information theory that allows for efficient analysis of models with multiple inputs and outputs; accounts for temporal dynamics of signaling; enables analysis of how signals flow through shared network components; and is not restricted by limited variability of responses. The framework allows us to explain how identity and quantity of type I and type III interferon variants could be recognized by cells despite activating the same signaling effectors.

Affiliations:
Jetka T.-IPPT PAN
Nienałtowski K.-IPPT PAN
Filippi S.-Imperial College London (GB)
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
Komorowski M.-IPPT PAN
2.Jetka T., Charzyńska A., Gambin A., Stumpf M.P.H., Komorowski M., StochDecomp—Matlab package for noise decomposition in stochastic biochemical systems, BIOINFORMATICS, ISSN: 1367-4803, DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btt631, Vol.30, No.1, pp.137-138, 2014
Abstract:

Motivation: Stochasticity is an indispensable aspect of biochemical processes at the cellular level. Studies on how the noise enters and propagates in biochemical systems provided us with non-trivial insights into the origins of stochasticity, in total, however, they constitute a patchwork of different theoretical analyses.

Results: Here we present a flexible and widely applicable noise decomposition tool that allows us to calculate contributions of individual reactions to the total variability of a system’s output. With the package it is, therefore, possible to quantify how the noise enters and propagates in biochemical systems. We also demonstrate and exemplify using the JAK-STAT signalling pathway that the noise contributions resulting from individual reactions can be inferred from data experimental data along with Bayesian parameter inference. The method is based on the linear noise approximation, which is assumed to provide a reasonable representation of analyzed systems.

Affiliations:
Jetka T.-IPPT PAN
Charzyńska A.-University of Warsaw (PL)
Gambin A.-other affiliation
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
Komorowski M.-IPPT PAN
3.Liepe J., Filippi S., Komorowski M., Stumpf M.P.H., Maximising the information content of experiments in systems biology, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, ISSN: 1553-7358, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002888, Vol.9, No.1, pp.e1002888-1-13, 2013
Abstract:

Our understanding of most biological systems is in its infancy. Learning their structure and intricacies is fraught with challenges, and often side-stepped in favour of studying the function of different gene products in isolation from their physiological context. Constructing and inferring global mathematical models from experimental data is, however, central to systems biology. Different experimental setups provide different insights into such systems. Here we show how we can combine concepts from Bayesian inference and information theory in order to identify experiments that maximize the information content of the resulting data. This approach allows us to incorporate preliminary information; it is global and not constrained to some local neighbourhood in parameter space and it readily yields information on parameter robustness and confidence. Here we develop the theoretical framework and apply it to a range of exemplary problems that highlight how we can improve experimental investigations into the structure and dynamics of biological systems and their behavior.

Affiliations:
Liepe J.-Imperial College London (GB)
Filippi S.-Imperial College London (GB)
Komorowski M.-IPPT PAN
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
4.Schumacher J., Behrends V., Pan Z., Brown D.R., Heydenreich F., Lewis M.R., Bennett M.H., Razzaghi B., Komorowski M., Barahona M., Stumpf M.P.H., Wigneshweraraj S., Bundy J.G., Buck M., Nitrogen and carbon status are integrated at the transcriptional level by the nitrogen regulator NtrC in vivo, mBio, ISSN: 2150-7511, DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00881-13, Vol.4, pp.00881-1-13, 2013
Abstract:

Nitrogen regulation in Escherichia coli is a model system for gene regulation in bacteria. Growth on glutamine as a sole nitrogen source is assumed to be nitrogen limiting, inferred from slow growth and strong NtrB/NtrC-dependent gene activation. However, we show that under these conditions, the intracellular glutamine concentration is not limiting but 5.6-fold higher than in ammonium-replete conditions; in addition, α-ketoglutarate concentrations are elevated. We address this glutamine paradox from a systems perspective. We show that the dominant role of NtrC is to regulate glnA transcription and its own expression, indicating that the glutamine paradox is not due to NtrC-independent gene regulation. The absolute intracellular NtrC and GS concentrations reveal molecular control parameters, where NtrC-specific activities were highest in nitrogen-starved cells, while under glutamine growth, NtrC showed intermediate specific activity. We propose an in vivo model in which α-ketoglutarate can derepress nitrogen regulation despite nitrogen sufficiency.

Affiliations:
Schumacher J.-Imperial College London (GB)
Behrends V.-Imperial College London (GB)
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
Wigneshweraraj S.-Imperial College London (GB)
Bundy J.G.-Imperial College London (GB)
Buck M.-Imperial College London (GB)
Pan Z.-Imperial College London (GB)
Brown D.R.-Imperial College London (GB)
Heydenreich F.-Imperial College London (GB)
Lewis M.R.-Imperial College London (GB)
Bennett M.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
Razzaghi B.-Imperial College London (GB)
Komorowski M.-IPPT PAN
Barahona M.-Imperial College London (GB)
5.Komorowski M., Miękisz J., Stumpf M.P.H., Decomposing Noise in Biochemical Signalling Systems Highlights the Role of Protein Degradation, BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, ISSN: 0006-3495, DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.02.027, Vol.104, pp.1783-1793, 2013
Abstract:

Stochasticity is an essential aspect of biochemical processes at the cellular level. We now know that living cells take advantage of stochasticity in some cases and counteract stochastic effects in others. Here we propose a method that allows us to calculate contributions of individual reactions to the total variability of a system’s output. We demonstrate that reactions differ significantly in their relative impact on the total noise and we illustrate the importance of protein degradation on the overall variability for a range of molecular processes and signaling systems. With our flexible and generally applicable noise decomposition method, we are able to shed new, to our knowledge, light on the sources and propagation of noise in biochemical reaction networks; in particular, we are able to show how regulated protein degradation can be employed to reduce the noise in biochemical systems.

Affiliations:
Komorowski M.-IPPT PAN
Miękisz J.-University of Warsaw (PL)
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
6.Komorowski M., Zurauskiene J., Stumpf M.P.H., StochSens - matlab package for sensitivity analysis of stochastic chemical systems, BIOINFORMATICS, ISSN: 1367-4803, DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr714, Vol.28, No.5, pp.731-733, 2012
Abstract:

Motivation: The growing interest in the role of stochasticity in biochemical systems drives the demand for tools to analyse stochastic dynamical models of chemical reactions. One powerful tool to elucidate performance of dynamical systems is sensitivity analysis. Traditionally, however, the concept of sensitivity has mainly been applied to deterministic systems, and the difficulty to generalize these concepts for stochastic systems results from necessity of extensive Monte Carlo simulations.

Results: Here we present a Matlab package, StochSens, that implements sensitivity analysis for stochastic chemical systems using the concept of the Fisher Information Matrix (FIM). It uses the linear noise approximation to represent the FIM in terms of solutions of ordinary differential equations. This is the first computational tool that allows for quick computation of the Information Matrix for stochastic systems without the need for Monte Carlo simulations.

Affiliations:
Komorowski M.-other affiliation
Zurauskiene J.-other affiliation
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
7.Harrington H.A., Komorowski M., Beguerisse Díaz M., Ratto G.M., Stumpf M.P.H., Mathematical modeling reveals the functional implications of the different nuclear shuttling rates of Erk1 and Erk2, PHYSICAL BIOLOGY, ISSN: 1478-3967, DOI: 10.1088/1478-3975/9/3/036001, Vol.9, pp.036001-1-12, 2012
Abstract:

The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family of proteins is involved in regulating cellular fates such as proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. In particular, the dynamics of the Erk/Mek system, which has become the canonical example for MAPK signaling systems, have attracted considerable attention. Erk is encoded by two genes, Erk1 and Erk2, that until recently had been considered equivalent as they differ only subtly at the sequence level. However, these proteins exhibit radically different trafficking between cytoplasm and nucleus and this fact may have functional implications. Here we use spatially resolved data on Erk1/2 to develop and analyze spatio-temporal models of these cascades, and we discuss how sensitivity analysis can be used to discriminate between mechanisms. Our models elucidate some of the factors governing the interplay between signaling processes and the Erk1/2 localization in different cellular compartments, including competition between Erk1 and Erk2. Our approach is applicable to a wide range of signaling systems, such as activation cascades, where translocation of molecules occurs. Our study provides a first model of Erk1 and Erk2 activation and their nuclear shuttling dynamics, revealing a role in the regulation of the efficiency of nuclear signaling.

Affiliations:
Harrington H.A.-other affiliation
Komorowski M.-other affiliation
Beguerisse Díaz M.-other affiliation
Ratto G.M.-other affiliation
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)
8.Komorowski M., Costa M.J., Rand D.A., Stumpf M.P.H., Sensitivity, robustness, and identifiability in stochastic chemical kinetics models, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015814108, Vol.108, No.21, pp.8645-8650, 2011
Abstract:

We present a novel and simple method to numerically calculate Fisher information matrices for stochastic chemical kinetics models. The linear noise approximation is used to derive model equations and a likelihood function that leads to an efficient computational algorithm. Our approach reduces the problem of calculating the Fisher information matrix to solving a set of ordinary differential equations. This is the first method to compute Fisher information for stochastic chemical kinetics models without the need for Monte Carlo simulations. This methodology is then used to study sensitivity, robustness, and parameter identifiability in stochastic chemical kinetics models. We show that significant differences exist between stochastic and deterministic models as well as between stochastic models with time-series and time-point measurements. We demonstrate that these discrepancies arise from the variability in molecule numbers, correlations between species, and temporal correlations and show how this approach can be used in the analysis and design of experiments probing stochastic processes at the cellular level. The algorithm has been implemented as a Matlab package and is available from the authors upon request.

Affiliations:
Komorowski M.-other affiliation
Costa M.J.-University of Warwick (GB)
Rand D.A.-University of Warwick (GB)
Stumpf M.P.H.-Imperial College London (GB)