Background Many cancers arise from mutations in cells in epithelial tissues. Mutations manifesting at the subcellular level influence the structure and function of the tissue. In this paper we present a framework that allows the investigation of the influence of mutations such as subcellular knockouts and knockdowns on migration of cells within epithelial tissues.
Results In particular we investigate how specific mutations may lead to the increase in numbers of cells in the epithelial lining of the colorectal crypt, which may lead to the eventual destabilisation of the structure of the crypt and the onset of colorectal cancer. Secondly, we present the computational tools that allow the straightforward integration, and simulation of, SBML representations of subcellular dynamics with multicellular representations of the colorectal crypt.
Conclusions We see that mutations in APC can cause downward invasion of mutant cells in the crypt.