Dynamical and topological robustness of the mammalian cell cycle network: A reverse engineering approach

Gonzalo A. Ruz, Eric Goles, Marco Montalva, Gary B. Fogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A common gene regulatory network model is the threshold Boolean network, used for example to model the Arabidopsis thaliana floral morphogenesis network or the fission yeast cell cycle network. In this paper, we analyze a logical model of the mammalian cell cycle network and its threshold Boolean network equivalent. Firstly, the robustness of the network was explored with respect to update perturbations, in particular, what happened to the attractors for all the deterministic updating schemes. Results on the number of different limit cycles, limit cycle lengths, basin of attraction size, for all the deterministic updating schemes were obtained through mathematical and computational tools. Secondly, we analyzed the topology robustness of the network, by reconstructing synthetic networks that contained exactly the same attractors as the original model by means of a swarm intelligence approach. Our results indicate that networks may not be very robust given the great variety of limit cycles that a network can obtain depending on the updating scheme. In addition, we identified an omnipresent network with interactions that match with the original model as well as the discovery of new interactions. The techniques presented in this paper are general, and can be used to analyze other logical or threshold Boolean network models of gene regulatory networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bees algorithm
  • Boolean networks
  • Gene regulatory networks
  • Threshold networks
  • Topology robustness
  • Update robustness


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