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A Max-Plus Model of Ribosome Dynamics During mRNA Translation


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      We examine the dynamics of the translation stage of cellular protein production, in which ribosomes move uni-directionally along mRNA strands building an amino acid chain as they go. We describe the system using a timed event graph - a class of Petri net useful for studying discrete events which take a finite time. We use max-plus algebra to describe a deterministic version of the model, calculating the protein production rate and density of ribosomes on the mRNA. We find exact agreement between these analytical results and numerical simulations of the deterministic case.

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      Quantitative & Systems biology, Algebra


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