Title: Channel Capacity of Biological Signal Transduction Systems
Speaker: Peter Thomas (Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics)
Abstract: Shannon’s mathematical theory of communication quantifies the information that can be transmitted by a given communication channel. Biological signal transduction systems operate through a coupled ensemble of chemical reactions — a signal transduction network — driven at the molecular level by Poisson event streams. Kabanov (1978) obtained the capacity of a simple Poisson counting channel under max/min intensity constraints. We have begun extending Kabanov’s framework to biological signal transduction models. For a two-state “binding/unbinding” model we have obtained a rigorous derivation of the channel capacity for the discrete time case. In certain limits the continuous time version of our results matches Kabanov’s capacity formula. Time permitting, we will also discuss preliminary results on the capacity of channel rhodopsin (a partially observed 3-state Markov channel model), the nicotinic Acetylcholine receptor (a partially observed 5-state Markov channel model) and other molecular signal transduction systems.