Hysteresis and bistability in signal transduction

1 Apr 2005

Nicholas Ingolia
Murray Lab, MCB, Harvard


Feedback is prevalent in biological signal transduction systems. Positive feedback can result in bistability, a qualitative behavior of a signalling pathway with the potential to create a cellular memory of past signaling. This could be relevant for biological processes such as differentiation. I am studying this phenomenon using the budding yeast mating pheromone response as a model signal transduction pathway. I am attempting to evolve bistability using a selection for hysteresis in the response to pheromone. In a complementary approach, I am also introducing positive feedback into the pathway by design and characterizing its effects on the behavior of the system.

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