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Title: Mathematical modelling of mitotic controls
Author: Rata, Scott
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 3967
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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The mitotic cell cycle is fundamental to eukaryotic life. In mitosis, replicated chromosomes are segregated to form two new nuclei. This is essential to ensure the maintenance of chromosome number between parent and daughter cells. In higher eukaryotes, numerous cytological changes occur to facilitate the separation of the genetic material: the nuclear envelope breaks down, the mitotic spindle assembles, and the cell rounds-up. There is a well-conserved control network that regulates these processes to bring about the entry into mitosis, the separation of the genetic material, and the reversal of these processes during mitotic exit. To build a coherent model of these regulatory networks requires us to write the biochemical reactions in mathematical form. The work in this Thesis pertains to three fundamental switches: entry into mitosis, the metaphase-to-anaphase transition, and exit from mitosis. I present three studies from a systems-level perspective. The first investigates a novel bistable mechanism controlling mitotic entry/exit in vitro using purified proteins. Dephosphorylation of Greatwall kinase by the phosphatase PP2A-B55 creates a double negative feedback loop that gives a bistable system response with respect to cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) activity. The second looks at hysteresis between mitotic entry and mitotic exit in HeLa cells. Hysteresis persists when either of the regulatory loops of Cdk1 or its counter-acting phosphatase PP2A-B55 is removed, but is diminished when they are both removed. Finally, the regulation of separase in the metaphase-to-anaphase transition is analysed. Separase that is liberated from securin inhibition is isomerised by Pin1 into a conformation that can bind to cyclin B1. This binding peaks after separase has cleaved cohesin and initiated anaphase.
Supervisor: Novak, Bela Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cell cycle ; Systems biology ; Cdk1 ; Greatwall ; PP2A-B55 ; Separase