Dynamical modelling is at the core of the systems biology paradigm. However, the development of comprehensive quantitative models is complicated by the daunting complexity of regulatory networks controlling crucial biological processes such as cell division, the paucity of currently available quantitative data, as well as the limited reproducibility of large-scale experiments. In this context, qualitative modelling approaches offer a useful alternative or complementary framework to build and analyse simplified, but still rigorous dynamical models. This point is illustrated here by analysing recent logical models of the molecular network controlling mitosis in different organisms, from yeasts to mammals. After a short introduction covering cell cycle and logical modelling, we compare the assumptions and properties underlying these different models. Next, leaning on their transposition into a common logical framework, we compare their functional structure in terms of regulatory circuits. Finally, we discuss assets and prospects of qualitative approaches for the modelling of the cell cycle.
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