Algorithm of myogenic differentiation in higher-order organisms

Ron Piran, Einat Halperin, Noga Guttmann-Raviv, Ehud Keinan, Ram Reshef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell fate determination is governed by complex signaling molecules at appropriate concentrations that regulate the cell decision-making process. In vertebrates, however, concentration and kinetic parameters are practically unknown, and therefore the mechanism by which these molecules interact is obscure. In myogenesis, for example, multipotent cells differentiate into skeletal muscle as a result of appropriate interplay between several signaling molecules, which is not sufficiently characterized. Here we demonstrate that treatment of biochemical events with SAT (satisfiability) formalism, which has been primarily applied for solving decision-making problems, can provide a simple conceptual tool for describing the relationship between causes and effects in biological phenomena. Specifically, we applied the Łukasiewicz logic to a diffusible protein system that leads to myogenesis. The creation of an automaton that describes the myogenesis SAT problem has led to a comprehensive overview of this non-trivial phenomenon and also to a hypothesis that was subsequently verified experimentally. This example demonstrates the power of applying Łukasiewicz logic in describing and predicting any decision-making problem in general, and developmental processes in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3831-3840
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number22
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2009


  • Chick
  • Finite automation
  • Formal logic
  • Myogenesis
  • SAT problem
  • Somitogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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