Uncoupled Analysis of Stochastic Reaction Networks in Fluctuating Environments

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The dynamics of stochastic reaction networks within cells are inevitably modulated by factors considered extrinsic to the network such as for instance the fluctuations in ribsome copy numbers for a gene regulatory network. While several recent studies demonstrate the importance of accounting for such extrinsic components, the resulting models are typically hard to analyze. In this work we develop a general mathematical framework that allows to uncouple the network from its dynamic environment by incorporating only the environment's effect onto the network into a new model. More technically, we show how such fluctuating extrinsic components (e.g., chemical species) can be marginalized in order to obtain this decoupled model. We derive its corresponding process- and master equations and show how stochastic simulations can be performed. Using several case studies, we demonstrate the significance of the approach. For instance, we exemplarily formulate and solve a marginal master equation describing the protein translation and degradation in a fluctuating environment.




Zechner, C., & Koeppl, H. (2014). Uncoupled Analysis of Stochastic Reaction Networks in Fluctuating Environments. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003942

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