Computational modeling of the dynamics of the MAP kinase cascade activated by surface and internalized EGF receptors

Nat Biotechnol. 2002 Apr;20(4):370-5. doi: 10.1038/nbt0402-370.


We present a computational model that offers an integrated quantitative, dynamic, and topological representation of intracellular signal networks, based on known components of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor signal pathways. The model provides insight into signal-response relationships between the binding of EGF to its receptor at the cell surface and the activation of downstream proteins in the signaling cascade. It shows that EGF-induced responses are remarkably stable over a 100-fold range of ligand concentration and that the critical parameter in determining signal efficacy is the initial velocity of receptor activation. The predictions of the model agree well with experimental analysis of the effect of EGF on two downstream responses, phosphorylation of ERK-1/2 and expression of the target gene, c-fos.

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Endocytosis
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Genes, fos / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System* / drug effects
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Software


  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases