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Mathematical analysis of the Escherichia coli chemotaxis signalling pathway

Edgington, M. P. and Tindall, M. J. (2018) Mathematical analysis of the Escherichia coli chemotaxis signalling pathway. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 80 (4). pp. 758-787. ISSN 1522-9602

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11538-018-0400-z


We undertake a detailed mathematical analysis of a recent nonlinear ordinary differential equation (ODE) model describing the chemotactic signalling cascade within an {\it Escherichia coli} cell. The model includes a detailed description of the cell signalling cascade and an average approximation of the receptor activity. A steady-state stability analysis reveals the system exhibits one positive real steady-state which is shown to be asymptotically stable. Given the occurrence of a negative feedback between phosphorylated CheB (CheB-P) and the receptor state, we ask under what conditions, the system may exhibit oscillatory type behaviour. A detailed analysis of parameter space reveals that whilst variation in kinetic rate parameters within known biological limits is unlikely to lead to such behaviour, changes in the total concentration of the signalling proteins does. We postulate that experimentally observed overshoot behaviour can actually be described by damped oscillatory dynamics and consider the relationship between overshoot amplitude, total cell protein concentration and the magnitude of the external ligand stimulus. Model reductions of the full ODE model allow us to understand the link between phosphorylation events and the negative feedback between CheB-P and receptor methylation, as well as elucidate why some mathematical models exhibit overshoot and others do not. Our manuscript closes by discussing intercell variability of total protein concentration as means of ensuring the overall survival of a population as cells are subjected to different environments.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR)
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
ID Code:75017


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