A simple mathematical model of adaptation to high osmolarity in yeast
Journal article, 2006
We present a simple ordinary differential equation (ODE) model of the adaptive response to an osmotic shock in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The model consists of two main components. First, a biophysical model describing how the cell volume and the turgor pressure are affected by varying extra-cellular osmolarity. The second component describes how the cell controls the biophysical system in order to keep turgor pressure, or equivalently volume, constant. This is done by adjusting the glycerol production and the glycerol outflow from the cell. The complete model consists of 4 ODEs, 3 algebraic equations and 10 parameters. The parameters are constrained from various literature sources and estimated from new and previously published absolute time series data on intra-cellular and total glycerol. The qualitative behaviour of the model has been successfully tested on data from other genetically modified strains as well as data for different input signals. Compared to a previous detailed model of osmoregulation, the main strength of our model is its lower complexity, contributing to a better understanding of osmoregulation by focusing on relationships which are obscured in the more detailed model. Besides, the low complexity makes it possible to obtain more reliable parameter estimates.