In eukaryotic cells, the mRNA-protein interplay can be dramatically influenced by non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Although this new paradigm is now widely accepted, an understanding of the effect of ncRNAs on complex genetic networks is lacking. To clarify what may happen in this case, we propose a mean-field kinetic model describing the influence of ncRNA on a complex genetic network with a distributed architecture including mutual protein-mediated regulation of many genes transcribed into mRNAs. ncRNA is considered to associate with mRNAs and inhibit their translation and/or facilitate degradation. Our results are indicative of the richness of the kinetics under consideration. The main complex features are found to be bistability and oscillations. One could expect to find kinetic chaos as well. The latter feature has however not been observed in our calculations. In addition, we illustrate the difference in the regulation of distributed networks by mRNA and ncRNA.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.