Waves of Memory: oscillatory behavior in yeast transcription circuits

Galit Lahav
Bauer Center for Genomics Research


Can yeast cells remember they had a bad day? In this theory lunch, I will present results from my current work. We are studying the dynamics of biological circuits in response to different stimuli in order to extract their design principles and specific function. Using time series microarray experiments we identified different patterns of oscillatory gene expression in the yeast iron uptake system before and after stationary phase. The post stationary phase oscillatory behavior remains for many generations after release from stationary phase, implying the existence of a novel mechanism for memory in yeast. I will discuss my work in progress in terms of the underlying principles of the biological experiments we design. I will focus on how these principles are important for the construction of powerful theoretical models which can help us better understand the specific function and structure of the regulatory circuits in the iron uptake system, as well as in other biological signaling systems.