The complexity ofmany RNA processing pathways is such that a conventional systemsmodelling approach is inadequate to represent all themolecular species involved. We demonstrate that rule-based modelling permits a detailed model of a complex RNA signalling pathway to be defined. Phosphorylation of the RNApolymerase II (RNAPII)C-terminal domain (CTD; a flexible tail-like extension of the largest subunit) couples pre-messenger RNA capping, splicing and 30 end maturation to transcriptional elongation and termination, and plays a central role in integrating these processes. The phosphorylation states of the serine residues of many heptapeptide repeats of the CTD alter along the coding region of genes as a function of distance from the promoter. From a mechanistic perspective, both the changes in phosphorylation and the location atwhich they take place on the genes are a function of the time spent byRNAPII in elongation as this interval provides the opportunity for the kinases and phosphatases to interactwith theCTD.On this basis,we synthesize the available data to create a kinetic model of the action of the known kinases and phosphatases to resolve the phosphorylation pathways and their kinetics.
- Rule-based modelling