A computational analysis of the dynamic roles of talin, Dok1, and PIPKI for integrin activation

PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e24808. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024808. Epub 2011 Nov 16.


Integrin signaling regulates cell migration and plays a pivotal role in developmental processes and cancer metastasis. Integrin signaling has been studied extensively and much data is available on pathway components and interactions. Yet the data is fragmented and an integrated model is missing. We use a rule-based modeling approach to integrate available data and test biological hypotheses regarding the role of talin, Dok1 and PIPKI in integrin activation. The detailed biochemical characterization of integrin signaling provides us with measured values for most of the kinetics parameters. However, measurements are not fully accurate and the cellular concentrations of signaling proteins are largely unknown and expected to vary substantially across different cellular conditions. By sampling model behaviors over the physiologically realistic parameter range we find that the model exhibits only two different qualitative behaviors and these depend mainly on the relative protein concentrations, which offers a powerful point of control to the cell. Our study highlights the necessity to characterize model behavior not for a single parameter optimum, but to identify parameter sets that characterize different signaling modes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Computer Simulation*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction
  • Talin / metabolism*
  • Uncertainty


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Integrins
  • Talin
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)