Insulin signaling - mathematical modeling comes of age

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Mar;23(3):107-15. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2011.12.007. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


Signaling pathways that only a few years ago appeared simple and understandable, albeit far from complete, have evolved into very complex multi-layered networks of cellular control mechanisms, which in turn are integrated in a similarly complex whole-body level of control mechanisms. This complexity sets limits for classical biochemical reasoning, such that a correct and complete analysis of experimental data while taking the full complexity into account is not possible. In this Opinion we propose that mathematical modeling can be used as a tool in insulin signaling research, and we demonstrate how recent developments in modeling - and the integration of modeling in the experimental process - provide new possibilities to approach and decipher complex biological systems more efficiently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Insulin
  • Receptor, Insulin