The ability to control cellular functions can bring about many developments in basic biological research and its applications. The presence of multiple signals, internal as well as externally imposed, introduces several challenges for controlling cellular functions. Additionally the lack of clear understanding of the cellular signaling network limits our ability to infer the responses to a number of signals. This work investigates the control of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus reactivation upon treatment with a combination of multiple signals. We utilize mathematical model-based as well as experiment-based approaches to achieve the desired goals of maximizing virus reactivation. The results show that appropriately selected control signals can induce virus lytic gene expression about ten folds higher than a single drug; these results were validated by comparing the results of the two approaches, and experimentally using multiple assays. Additionally, we have quantitatively analyzed potential interactions between the used combinations of drugs. Some of these interactions were consistent with existing literature, and new interactions emerged and warrant further studies. The work presents a general method that can be used to quantitatively and systematically study multi-signal induced responses. It enables optimization of combinations to achieve desired responses. It also allows identifying critical nodes mediating the multi-signal induced responses. The concept and the approach used in this work will be directly applicable to other diseases such as AIDS and cancer.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 28-June-2011
Author(s): Yu F., Al-Shyoukh I., Feng J., Li X., Liao C., Ho C., Shamma J., Sun R.