Chemical reaction systems with toric steady states

Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 11:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
University of Chicago
Chemical reaction networks taken with mass-action kinetics are dynamical systems governed by polynomial differential equations that arise in systems biology.  In general, establishing the existence of (multiple) steady states is challenging, as it requires the solution of a large system of polynomials with unknown coefficients.  If, however, the steady state ideal of the system is a binomial ideal, then we show that these questions can be answered easily.  This talk focuses on systems with this property, are we say such systems have toric steady states.  Our main result gives sufficient conditions for a chemical reaction system to admit toric steady states.  Furthermore, we analyze the capacity of such a system to exhibit multiple steady states. An important application concerns the biochemical reaction networks networks that describe the multisite phosphorylation of a protein by a kinase/phosphatase pair in a sequential and distributive mechanism.  No prior knowledge of chemical reaction network theory or binomial ideals will be assumed.  (This is joint work with Carsten Conradi, Mercedes P\'erez Mill\'an, and Alicia Dickenstein.)