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Response Delays and the Structure of Transcription Networks

Summary: Response Delays and the Structure of
Transcription Networks
Nitzan Rosenfeld and Uri Alon*
Department of Molecular Cell
Biology and Department of
Physics of Complex Systems
Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot 76100, Israel
Sensory transcription networks generally control rapid and reversible
gene expression responses to external stimuli. Developmental transcrip-
tion networks carry out slow and irreversible temporal programs of gene
expression during development. It is important to understand the design
principles that underlie the structure of sensory and developmental tran-
scription networks. Cascades, which are chains of regulatory reactions,
are a basic structural element of transcription networks. When comparing
databases of sensory and developmental transcription networks, a strik-
ing difference is found in the distribution of cascade lengths. Here, we
suggest that delay times in the responses of the network present a design
constraint that influences the network architecture. We experimentally
studied the response times in simple cascades constructed of well-charac-


Source: Alon, Uri - Departments of Molecular Cell Biology & Physics of Complex Systems, Weizmann Institute of Science


Collections: Biology and Medicine