Optimizing information flow in small genetic networks. III. A self-interacting gene Journal Article


Author(s): Tkačik, Gašper; Walczak, Aleksandra M; Bialek, William S
Article Title: Optimizing information flow in small genetic networks. III. A self-interacting gene
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Living cells must control the reading out or "expression" of information encoded in their genomes, and this regulation often is mediated by transcription factors--proteins that bind to DNA and either enhance or repress the expression of nearby genes. But the expression of transcription factor proteins is itself regulated, and many transcription factors regulate their own expression in addition to responding to other input signals. Here we analyze the simplest of such self-regulatory circuits, asking how parameters can be chosen to optimize information transmission from inputs to outputs in the steady state. Some nonzero level of self-regulation is almost always optimal, with self-activation dominant when transcription factor concentrations are low and self-repression dominant when concentrations are high. In steady state the optimal self-activation is never strong enough to induce bistability, although there is a limit in which the optimal parameters are very close to the critical point.
Journal Title: Physical Review E Statistical Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Volume: 85
Issue 4
ISSN: 1539-3755
Publisher: American Institute of Physics  
Date Published: 2012-04-01
URL:
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.85.041903
Notes: We thank T. Gregor, E. F. Wieschaus, and, especially, C. G. Callan for helpful discussions. Work at Princeton was supported in part by NSF Grants No. PHY–0957573 and No. CCF–0939370, by NIH Grant No. R01 GM077599, and by the W. M. Keck Foundation. For part of this work, G.T. was supported in part by NSF Grant No. EF–0928048 and by the Vice Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania.
Open access: yes (repository)
IST Austria Authors
  1. Gasper Tkacik
    67 Tkacik
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