We present a mathematical model of the dynamics of the pheromone pathways in haploid yeast cells of mating type MATa after stimulation with pheromone α-factor. The model consists of a set of differential equations and describes the dynamics of signal transduction from the receptor via several steps, including a G protein and a scaffold MAP kinase cascade, up to changes in the gene expression after pheromone stimulation in terms of biochemical changes (complex formations, phosphorylations, etc.). The parameters entering the models have been taken from the literature or adapted to observed time courses or behaviour. Using this model we can follow the time course of the various complex formation processes and of the phosphorylation states of the proteins involved. Furthermore, we can explain the phenotype of more than a dozen well-characterized mutants and also the graded response of yeast cells to varying concentrations of the stimulating pheromone. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.