Beata Hat-Plewińska, Ph.D.

Department of Biosystems and Soft Matter (ZBiMM)
Division of Modelling in Biology and Medicine (PMBM)
position: specialist
telephone: (+48) 22 826 12 81 ext.: 411
room: 326
e-mail: bhat
personal site: http://pmbm.ippt.pan.pl/web/Beata_Hat

Doctoral thesis
2010-01-28Wpływ ilości kopii genu na dynamikę sieci regulatorowych w komórce 
supervisor -- Prof. Tomasz Lipniacki, Ph.D., Dr. Habil., IPPT PAN
634
 
Recent publications
1.Hat B., Kochańczyk M., Bogdał M.N., Lipniacki T., Feedbacks, bifurcations, and cell fate decision-making in the p53 system, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, ISSN: 1553-734X, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004787, Vol.12, No.2, pp.e1004787-1-28, 2016
Abstract:

The p53 transcription factor is a regulator of key cellular processes including DNA repair, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. In this theoretical study, we investigate how the complex circuitry of the p53 network allows for stochastic yet unambiguous cell fate decision-making. The proposed Markov chain model consists of the regulatory core and two subordinated bistable modules responsible for cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The regulatory core is controlled by two negative feedback loops (regulated by Mdm2 and Wip1) responsible for oscillations, and two antagonistic positive feedback loops (regulated by phosphatases Wip1 and PTEN) responsible for bistability. By means of bifurcation analysis of the deterministic approximation we capture the recurrent solutions (i.e., steady states and limit cycles) that delineate temporal responses of the stochastic system. Direct switching from the limit-cycle oscillations to the “apoptotic” steady state is enabled by the existence of a subcritical Neimark—Sacker bifurcation in which the limit cycle loses its stability by merging with an unstable invariant torus. Our analysis provides an explanation why cancer cell lines known to have vastly diverse expression levels of Wip1 and PTEN exhibit a broad spectrum of responses to DNA damage: from a fast transition to a high level of p53 killer (a p53 phosphoform which promotes commitment to apoptosis) in cells characterized by high PTEN and low Wip1 levels to long-lasting p53 level oscillations in cells having PTEN promoter methylated (as in, e.g., MCF-7 cell line).

Keywords:

Apoptosis, Cell cycle and cell division, DNA damage, DNA repair, Phosphorylation, Biochemical simulations, Cell cycle inhibitors, Transcription factors

Affiliations:
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Kochańczyk M.-IPPT PAN
Bogdał M.N.-IPPT PAN
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN
2.Bogdał M.N., Hat B., Kochańczyk M., Lipniacki T., Levels of pro-apoptotic regulator Bad and anti-apoptotic regulator Bcl-xL determine the type of the apoptotic logic gate, BMC SYSTEMS BIOLOGY, ISSN: 1752-0509, DOI: 10.1186/1752-0509-7-67, Vol.7, pp.1-17, 2013
Abstract:

Background
Apoptosis is a tightly regulated process: cellular survive-or-die decisions cannot be accidental and must be unambiguous. Since the suicide program may be initiated in response to numerous stress stimuli, signals transmitted through a number of checkpoints have to be eventually integrated.

Results
In order to analyze possible mechanisms of the integration of multiple pro-apoptotic signals, we constructed a simple model of the Bcl-2 family regulatory module. The module collects upstream signals and processes them into life-or-death decisions by employing interactions between proteins from three subgroups of the Bcl-2 family: pro-apoptotic multidomain effectors, pro-survival multidomain restrainers, and pro-apoptotic single domain BH3-only proteins. Although the model is based on ordinary differential equations (ODEs), it demonstrates that the Bcl-2 family module behaves akin to a Boolean logic gate of the type dependent on levels of BH3-only proteins (represented by Bad) and restrainers (represented by Bcl-xL). A low level of pro-apoptotic Bad or a high level of pro-survival Bcl-xL implies gate AND, which allows for the initiation of apoptosis only when two stress stimuli are simultaneously present: the rise of the p53 killer level and dephosphorylation of kinase Akt. In turn, a high level of Bad or a low level of Bcl-xL implies gate OR, for which any of these stimuli suffices for apoptosis.

Conclusions
Our study sheds light on possible signal integration mechanisms in cells, and spans a bridge between modeling approaches based on ODEs and on Boolean logic. In the proposed scheme, logic gates switching results from the change of relative abundances of interacting proteins in response to signals and involves system bistability. Consequently, the regulatory system may process two analogous inputs into a digital survive-or-die decision.

Keywords:

Apoptosis, Cell survival, Signaling pathway, Bcl-2 family, Bistability, Boolean logic, Ordinary differential equations

Affiliations:
Bogdał M.N.-IPPT PAN
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Kochańczyk M.-IPPT PAN
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN
3.Hat B., Kaźmierczak B., Lipniacki T., B cell activation triggered by the formation of the small receptor cluster: a computational study, PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY, ISSN: 1553-734X, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002197, Vol.7, No.10, pp.1-13, 2011
Abstract:

We proposed a spatially extended model of early events of B cell receptors (BCR) activation, which is based on mutual kinase-receptor interactions that are characteristic for the immune receptors and the Src family kinases. These interactions lead to the positive feedback which, together with two nonlinearities resulting from the double phosphorylation of receptors and Michaelis-Menten dephosphorylation kinetics, are responsible for the system bistability. We demonstrated that B cell can be activated by a formation of a tiny cluster of receptors or displacement of the nucleus. The receptors and Src kinases are activated, first locally, in the locus of the receptor cluster or the region where the cytoplasm is the thinnest. Then the traveling wave of activation propagates until activity spreads over the whole cell membrane. In the models in which we assume that the kinases are free to diffuse in the cytoplasm, we found that the fraction of aggregated receptors, capable to initiate B cell activation decreases with the decreasing thickness of cytoplasm and decreasing kinase diffusion. When kinases are restricted to the cell membrane - which is the case for most of the Src family kinases - even a cluster consisting of a tiny fraction of total receptors becomes activatory. Interestingly, the system remains insensitive to the modest changes of total receptor level. The model provides a plausible mechanism of B cells activation due to the formation of small receptors clusters collocalized by binding of polyvalent antigens or arising during the immune synapse formation.

Affiliations:
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Kaźmierczak B.-IPPT PAN
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN
4.Hat B., Puszyński K., Lipniacki T., Exploring mechanisms of oscillations in p53 and NF-kappaB systems, IET SYSTEMS BIOLOGY, ISSN: 1751-8849, DOI: 10.1049/iet-syb.2008.0156, Vol.3, pp.342-355, 2009
Abstract:

A number of regulatory networks have the potential to generate sustained oscillations of irregular amplitude, but well conserved period. Single-cell experiments revealed that in p53 and nuclear factor (NF)-kB systems the oscillation period is homogenous in cell populations, insensitive to the strength of the stimulation, and is not influenced by the overexpression of p53 or NF-kB transcription factors. We propose a novel computational method of validation of molecular pathways models, based on the analysis of sensitivity of the oscillation period to the particular gene(s) copy number and the level of stimulation. Using this method, the authors demonstrate that existing p53 models, in which oscillations are borne at a saddle-node-on-invariantcircle or subcritical Hopf bifurcations (characteristic for systems with interlinked positive and negative feedbacks), are highly sensitive to gene copy number. Hence, these models cannot explain existing experiments. Analysing NF-kB system, the authors show the importance of saturation in transcription of the NF-kB inhibitor IkBa. Models without saturation predict that the oscillation period is a rapidly growing function of total NF-kB level, which is in disagreement with experiments. The study supports the hypothesis that oscillations of robust period are based on supercritical Hopf bifurcation, characteristic for dynamical systems involving negative feedback and time delay. We hypothesise that in the p53 system, the role of positive feedback is not sustaining oscillations, but terminating them in severely damaged cells in which the apoptotic programme should be initiated.

Affiliations:
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Puszyński K.-Silesian University of Technology (PL)
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN
5.Lipniacki T., Hat B., Faeder J.R., Hlavacek W.S., Stochastic effects and bistability in T cell receptor signaling, JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, ISSN: 0022-5193, DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.05.001, Vol.254, No.1, pp.110-122, 2008
Abstract:

The stochastic dynamics of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling are studied using a mathematical model intended to capture kinetic proofreading (sensitivity to ligand–receptor binding kinetics) and negative and positive feedback regulation mediated, respectively, by the phosphatase SHP1 and the MAP kinase ERK. The model incorporates protein–protein interactions involved in initiating TCR-mediated cellular responses and reproduces several experimental observations about the behavior of TCR signaling, including robust responses to as few as a handful of ligands (agonist peptide–MHC complexes on an antigen-presenting cell), distinct responses to ligands that bind TCR with different lifetimes, and antagonism. Analysis of the model indicates that TCR signaling dynamics are marked by significant stochastic fluctuations and bistability, which is caused by the competition between the positive and negative feedbacks. Stochastic fluctuations are such that single-cell trajectories differ qualitatively from the trajectory predicted in the deterministic approximation of the dynamics. Because of bistability, the average of single-cell trajectories differs markedly from the deterministic trajectory. Bistability combined with stochastic fluctuations allows for switch-like responses to signals, which may aid T cells in making committed cell-fate decisions.

Keywords:

T cell activation, Mathematical model, Kinetic proofreading, Hysteresis, Ordinary differential equations, Stochastic simulations

Affiliations:
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Faeder J.R.-University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (US)
Hlavacek W.S.-Los Alamos National Laboratory (US)
6.Puszyński K., Hat B., Lipniacki T., Oscillations and bistability in the stochastic model of p53 regulation, JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY, ISSN: 0022-5193, DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.05.039, Vol.254, No.2, pp.452-465, 2008
Abstract:

The p53 regulatory pathway controls cell responses, which include cell cycle arrest, DNA repair, apoptosis and cellular senescence. We propose a stochastic model of p53 regulation, which is based on two feedback loops: the negative, coupling p53 with its immediate downregulator Mdm2, and the positive, which involves PTEN, PIP3 and Akt. Existence of the negative feedback assures homeostasis of healthy cells and oscillatory responses of DNA-damaged cells, which are persistent when DNA repair is inefficient and the positive feedback loop is broken. The positive feedback destroys the negative coupling between Mdm2 and p53 by sequestering most of Mdm2 in cytoplasm, so it may no longer prime the nuclear p53 for degradation. It works as a clock, giving the cell some time for DNA repair. However, when DNA repair is inefficient, the active p53 rises to a high level and triggers transcription of proapoptotic genes. As a result, small DNA damage may be repaired and the cell may return to its initial ‘‘healthy’’ state, while the extended damage results in apoptosis. The stochasticity of p53 regulation, introduced at the levels of gene expression, DNA damage and repair, leads to high heterogeneity of cell responses and causes cell population split after irradiation into subpopulations of apoptotic and surviving cells, with fraction of apoptotic cells growing with the irradiation dose.

Keywords:

Signaling pathways, Positive and negative feedbacks, Mathematical modeling, Stochastic simulations, Apoptosis, p53, Mdm2, PTEN

Affiliations:
Puszyński K.-Silesian University of Technology (PL)
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN
7.Hat B., Paszek P., Kimmel M., Piechór K., Lipniacki T., How the number of alleles influences gene expression, JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL PHYSICS, ISSN: 0022-4715, DOI: 10.1007/s10955-006-9218-4, Vol.128, pp.511-533, 2007
Abstract:

The higher organisms, eukaryotes, are diploid and most of their genes have two homological copies (alleles). However, the number of alleles in a cell is not constant. In the S phase of the cell cycle all the genome is duplicated and then in the G2 phase and mitosis, which together last for several hours, most of the genes have four copies instead of two. Cancer development is, in many cases, associated with a change in allele number. Several genetic diseases are caused by haploinsufficiency: Lack of one of the alleles or its improper functioning. In the paper we consider the stochastic expression of a gene having a variable number of copies. We applied our previously developed method in which the reaction channels are split into slow (connected with change of gene state) and fast (connected with mRNA/protein synthesis/decay), the later being approximated by deterministic reaction rate equations. As a result we represent gene expression as a piecewise deterministic time-continuous Markov process, which is further related with a system of partial differential hyperbolic equations for probability density functions (pdfs) of protein distribution. The stationary pdfs are calculated analytically for haploidal gene or numerically for diploidal and tetraploidal ones. We distinguished nine classes of simultaneous activation of haploid, diploid and tetraploid genes. This allows for analysis of potential consequences of gene duplication or allele loss. We show that when gene activity is autoregulated by a positive feedback, the change in number of gene alleles may have dramatic consequences for its regulation and may not be compensated by the change of efficiency of mRNA synthesis per allele.

Keywords:

stochastic gene expression, feedback regulation, diploid genes, haploinsufficiency, piecewise deterministic time-continuous Markov process

Affiliations:
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Paszek P.-Rice University (US)
Kimmel M.-Rice University (US)
Piechór K.-IPPT PAN
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN

Conference papers
1.Bogdał M.N., Hat B., Kochańczyk M., Lipniacki T., Gates to apoptosis, XVIII National Conference Applications of Mathematics in Biology and Medicine, 2012-09-23/09-27, Krynica Morska (PL), pp.1-6, 2012
Abstract:

p53 is the key transcription factor controlling cellular responses to oncogenic stimulation and DNA da mage. Its activity is tightly controlled by numerous feedback loops. In response to DNA damage, p53 promotes expression of proteins, which suppress cell cycle and activate DNA repair. If the damage is irreparable or the repair takes too long, the programmed cell death (apoptosis) is initiated. In the current study we analyze the apoptotic module, a part of our larger p53 pathway model. In the model, the apoptosis is triggered due to the suppression of Akt activity and/or elevated level of p53 killer.p53 killer, i.e. p53 form phosphorylated at Ser-46 (in addition to Ser-15 and Ser-20), promotes synthesis of pro- apoptotic protein Bax. In healthy cells Bax is inactive due to binding to Bcl-2, another member of Bcl-2 family proteins. Suppression of Akt activity leads to the dissociation of Bax:Bcl-2 complexes and release of Bax. Therefore, two signals may lead to the accumulation of free Bax: one coming from elevated level of p53 killer, the other resulting from decreased level of active Akt. We demonstrated that, depending on parameters, the apoptosis can be controlled by the logic gate ‘AND’ as well as gate ‘OR’. In the first case both signals are required simultaneously, while in the latter case any of the two signals suffices for the initiation of apoptosis.

Affiliations:
Bogdał M.N.-IPPT PAN
Hat B.-IPPT PAN
Kochańczyk M.-IPPT PAN
Lipniacki T.-IPPT PAN