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Title: Experimental and theoretical modelling of the MAPK pathway
Author: Maddison, Louise
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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The MAPK pathway plays a crucial role in regulating cellular response to external stimuli. Binding of growth factors and other mitogenic signals to cell surface receptors initiates a phosphorylation-dependent relay of protein activation, resulting in altered transcription, ultimately regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. Signalling through this pathway is regulated by the coordinated function of specific protein kinases and protein phosphatases. As perturbation of this signalling system is often associated with diseases such as cancer, modelling is a useful means to help understand the outcomes that may result following changes in component levels or activity. The determination of absolute quantification data, in copies per cell, for proteins of the MAPK pathway will allow the expansion of and improved accuracy within predictive models. The strategy used within this thesis is based on the established technique of stable isotope dilution, generating isotopically labelled peptides using the QconCAT methodology. Recombinant DNA techniques were used to generate artificial concatamers of large numbers of tryptic peptides as quantification standards. A QconCAT, LM1, of 49 KDa (29 tryptic peptides), corresponding to the scaffold proteins was designed and built to encode two peptides per protein. A second QconCAT, LM2, of 58 KDa (34 tryptic peptides), encoded peptides from the dual-specificity phosphatases (DUSPs) and substrates. Quantification was performed using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. A selected reaction monitoring (SRM) approach was employed where the most intense y-ions per peptide were selected either from experimental data or predictions in silico. Using the ratio of the signal for the light:heavy isotopologues, the amount of light isotopologue can be inferred, allowing copies per cell quantifications to be established. Native peptides were present below the lower limit of quantification, and therefore the upper bounds of copies per cell were obtained for the three cell lines; colon cancer cells HCT 116 (K-Ras mutant) and HT-29 (B-Raf mutant) and a control cell line of HEK-293. Finally, mathematical modelling was undertaken to explore the mass-action kinetics of a three component scaffold signalling molecule. It was found that the optimal scaffold concentration is between the lowest and second lowest concentration of signalling protein.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mathematical Modelling ; Mass Spectrometry ; MAPK ; Systems Biology