Document Type

Article

Publication Date

March 2006

Comments

This article has been peer reviewed and published in Nature Reviews Molecular Computational Biology 7(3): 165-176, March 2006. The published article is available at http://www.nature.com/nrm/journal/v7/n3/abs/nrm1838.html. Copyright © 2006 Nature Publishing Group.

Abstract

The specificity of cellular responses to receptor stimulation is encoded by the spatial and temporal dynamics of downstream signalling networks. Computational models provide insights into the intricate relationships between stimuli and responses and reveal mechanisms that enable networks to amplify signals, reduce noise and generate discontinuous bistable dynamics or oscillations. These temporal dynamics are coupled to precipitous spatial gradients of signalling activities, which guide pivotal intracellular processes, but also necessitate mechanisms to facilitate signal propagation across a cell.