Stability analysis of the ribosome flow model

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Gene translation is a central process in all living organisms. Developing a better understanding of this complex process may have ramifications to almost every biomedical discipline. Recently, Reuveni et al. proposed a new computational model of this process called the ribosome flow model (RFM). In this study, we show that the dynamical behavior of the RFM is relatively simple. There exists a unique equilibrium point e and every trajectory converges to e. Furthermore, convergence is monotone in the sense that the distance to e can never increase. This qualitative behavior is maintained for any feasible set of parameter values, suggesting that the RFM is highly robust. Our analysis is based on a contraction principle and the theory of monotone dynamical systems. These analysis tools may prove useful in studying other properties of the RFM as well as additional intracellular biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6226352
Pages (from-to)1545-1551
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2012


  • Gene translation
  • computational models
  • monotone dynamical systems
  • systems biology
  • tridiagonal cooperative systems


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