Game theory, biology, and the binding game

April 12, 2006
2:50 pm - 4:00 pm
Halligan 111A


Biological processes span across vastly different scales and necessarily have to be understood at multiple levels of abstraction. Towards clarifying the role that computation plays in such understanding, we have recently developed a class of game theoretic models for capturing coordinate operation of DNA binding regulators. Our work builds in part on the argument that the roles of various molecular interactions cannot be understood in isolation but that it is necessary to also capture the context provided by other mutually constraining processes. Our game theoretic model allocates proteins to neighborhoods of sites, and to sites themselves, in a resource constrained manner, while explicitly capturing coordinate and competitive relations among proteins with affinity to the site or region. We provide examples of known biological subsystems that are naturally translated into our framework, and illustrate predictions that can be derived from the model. The focus of the talk will be on mathematical foundations of the modeling approach and requires little biological background.

This is joint work with Luis Perez-Breva, Luis Ortiz, and Chen-Hsiang Yeang.