A simple model of NF-κB dynamics reproduces experimental observations

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The mathematical modeling of the NF-κB oscillations has attracted considerable attention in recent times, but there is a lack of simple models in the literature that can capture the main features of the dynamics of this important transcription factor. For this reason we propose a simple model that summarizes the key steps of the NF-κB pathway. We show that the resulting 5-dimensional dynamical system can reproduce different phenomena observed in experiments. Our model can display smooth and spiky oscillations in the amount of nuclear NF-κB and can reproduce the variety of dynamics observed when different stimulations such as TNF-α and LPS are used. Furthermore we show that the model can be easily extended to reproduce the expression of early, intermediate and late genes upon stimulation. As a final example we show that our simple model can mimic the different transcriptional outputs observed when cells are treated with two different drugs leading to nuclear localization of NF-κB: Leptomycin B and Cycloheximide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2014


  • Mathematical modeling
  • Oscillations
  • Signalling pathways
  • Transcription factor dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Applied Mathematics

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