Single-Cell Measurements and Modeling and Computation of Decision-Making Errors in a Molecular Signaling System with Two Output Molecules

Ali Emadi, Tomasz Lipniacki, Andre Levchenko, Ali Abdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cell constantly receives signals and takes different fates accordingly. Given the uncertainty rendered by signal transduction noise, a cell may incorrectly perceive these signals. It may mistakenly behave as if there is a signal, although there is none, or may miss the presence of a signal that actually exists. In this paper, we consider a signaling system with two outputs, and introduce and develop methods to model and compute key cell decision-making parameters based on the two outputs and in response to the input signal. In the considered system, the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) regulates the two transcription factors, the nuclear factor κB (NFκB) and the activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2). These two system outputs are involved in important physiological functions such as cell death and survival, viral replication, and pathological conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and different types of cancer. Using the introduced methods, we compute and show what the decision thresholds are, based on the single-cell measured concentration levels of NFκB and ATF-2. We also define and compute the decision error probabilities, i.e., false alarm and miss probabilities, based on the concentration levels of the two outputs. By considering the joint response of the two outputs of the signaling system, one can learn more about complex cellular decision-making processes, the corresponding decision error rates, and their possible involvement in the development of some pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1461
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


  • cell decision making
  • cellular decision error probabilities
  • decision theory
  • molecular signaling systems
  • signal transduction noise


Dive into the research topics of 'Single-Cell Measurements and Modeling and Computation of Decision-Making Errors in a Molecular Signaling System with Two Output Molecules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this