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Robustness Analysis of the Heat Shock Response using semiquantitative Reasoning

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School 2006
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


The Heat Shock Response (HSR) is a universal
procedure among organisms that repairs protein damage induced
by heat and other stresses. It is a simple biological
mechanism that is yet rich enough to be analyzed from the
perspective of robustness and efficiency. A series of papers by
El-Samad et al. [1], [2] have presented a control theoretical
approach for studying HSR in Escherichia coli bacteria. They
argue that the complexity of the HSR control mechanism is
necessary to achieve the observed robustness of such biological
We extend the control theoretical approach, applying interval
analysis to Lyapunov’s indirect method, and consider the
robustness of the HSR with respect to uncertainties in the
individual chemical reaction rates. In order to design alternative
control mechanisms for the HSR we compute the optimal
control to the protein damage-repair cycle. Furthermore we
propose a novel reduced order model of the HSR.

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