Maintaining specificity in signal transduction systems

7 October 2005

Michael Laub
Bauer Center for Genomics Research
Harvard University


How do cells maintain the specificity of signal transduction pathways to prevent cross-talk and thereby produce the desired response to a given signal? Or in some cases, how do cells exploit the similarity of signaling pathways to integrate signals? We study these questions in bacteria where the dominant signaling modality is two-component signal transduction systems, comprised of histidine kinases and their response regulator targets. I'll discuss our attempts to understand the molecular basis of specificity in these systems, using computational approaches, genetics, and a novel systematic biochemical technique called phosphotransfer profiling.

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