• Indrani Bose

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • The p53-MDM2 network: from oscillations to apoptosis

      Indrani Bose Bhaswar Ghosh

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      The p53 protein is well-known for its tumour suppressor function. The p53-MDM2 negative feedback loop constitutes the core module of a network of regulatory interactions activated under cellular stress. In normal cells, the level of p53 proteins is kept low by MDM2, i.e. MDM2 negatively regulates the activity of p53. In the case of DNA damage, the p53-mediated pathways are activated leading to cell cycle arrest and repair of the DNA. If repair is not possible due to excessive damage, the p53-mediated apoptotic pathway is activated bringing about cell death. In this paper, we give an overview of our studies on the p53-MDM2 module and the associated pathways from a systems biology perspective. We discuss a number of key predictions, related to some specific aspects of cell cycle arrest and cell death, which could be tested in experiments.

    • Criticality in cell differentiation


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      Cell differentiation is an important process in living organisms. Differentiation is mostly based on binary decisions with theprogenitor cells choosing between two specific lineages. The differentiation dynamics have both deterministic andstochastic components. Several theoretical studies suggest that cell differentiation is a bifurcation phenomenon, well-knownin dynamical systems theory. The bifurcation point has the character of a critical point with the system dynamics exhibitingspecific features in its vicinity. These include the critical slowing down, rising variance and lag-1 autocorrelation function,strong correlations between the fluctuations of key variables and non-Gaussianity in the distribution of fluctuations. Recentexperimental studies provide considerable support to the idea of criticality in cell differentiation and in other biologicalprocesses like the development of the fruit fly embryo. In this review, an elementary introduction is given to the concept ofcriticality in cell differentiation. The correspondence between the signatures of criticality and experimental observations onblood cell differentiation in mice is further highlighted.

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