Studying Irreversible Transitions in a Model of Cell Cycle Regulation

Paolo Ballarini, Tommaso Mazza, Alida Palmisano, Attila Csikasz-Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cells life follows a cycling behaviour which starts at cell birth and leads to cell division through a number of distinct phases. The transitions through the various cell cycle phases are controlled by a complex network of signalling pathways. Many cell cycle transitions are irreversible: once they are started they must reach completion. In this study we investigate the existence of conditions which lead to cases when irreversibility may be broken. Specifically, we characterise the elements of the cell cycle signalling network that are responsible for the irreversibility and we determine conditions for which the irreversible transitions may become reversible. We illustrate our results through a formal approach in which stochastic simulation analysis and model checking verification are combined. Through probabilistic model checking we provide a quantitative measure for the probability of irreversibility in the "Start" transition of the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Number of pages15
JournalElectronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - Mar 26 2009


  • BlenX
  • Budding Yeast
  • Cell Cycle
  • Probabilistic Model Checking
  • Stochastic Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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