Cross talk and interference enhance information capacity of a signaling pathway.

Abstract:

:A recurring motif in gene regulatory networks is transcription factors (TFs) that regulate each other and then bind to overlapping sites on DNA, where they interact and synergistically control transcription of a target gene. Here, we suggest that this motif maximizes information flow in a noisy network. Gene expression is an inherently noisy process due to thermal fluctuations and the small number of molecules involved. A consequence of multiple TFs interacting at overlapping binding sites is that their binding noise becomes correlated. Using concepts from information theory, we show that in general a signaling pathway transmits more information if 1), noise of one input is correlated with that of the other; and 2), input signals are not chosen independently. In the case of TFs, the latter criterion hints at upstream cross-regulation. We demonstrate these ideas for competing TFs and feed-forward gene-regulatory modules, and discuss generalizations to other signaling pathways. Our results challenge the conventional approach of treating biological noise as uncorrelated fluctuations, and present a systematic method for understanding TF cross-regulation networks either from direct measurements of binding noise or from bioinformatic analysis of overlapping binding sites.

journal_name

Biophys J

journal_title

Biophysical journal

authors

Hormoz S

doi

10.1016/j.bpj.2013.01.033

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2013-03-05 00:00:00

pages

1170-80

issue

5

eissn

0006-3495

issn

1542-0086

pii

S0006-3495(13)00138-0

journal_volume

104

pub_type

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