|Title||Decoding cardiac calcium signals|
|Presenter||Hilary Hunt (The University of Melbourne)|
|Author(s)||Ms Hilary Hunt|
In biological systems we often consider the presence or absence of a chemical signal as the switch controlling whether a cellular process is on or off. However, many intracellular signalling molecules, such as calcium, can perform multiple functions. Within cells there exist different calcium channels which release calcium into the cell but are triggered by different mechanisms, and serve significantly different purposes. Thus there must be some more sophisticated aspect of the calcium dynamics that produces these targeted signals. We have developed a computational model, parameterised using experimental data, to explore the modulatory effect of activating IP3R calcium channels on the regular calcium oscillations within heart cells. Through varying the parameters within and beyond known experimental bounds, we can identify the key features of the composite signal that can be produced using known intracellular machinery and decode the underlying message.
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