How molecular competition influences fluxes in gene expression networks.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

108 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Often, in living cells different molecular species compete for binding to the same molecular target. Typical examples are the competition of genes for the transcription machinery or the competition of mRNAs for the translation machinery. Here we show that such systems have specific regulatory features and how they can be analysed. We derive a theory for molecular competition in parallel reaction networks. Analytical expressions for the response of network fluxes to changes in the total competitor and common target pools indicate the precise conditions for ultrasensitivity and intuitive rules for competitor strength. The calculations are based on measurable concentrations of the competitor-target complexes. We show that kinetic parameters, which are usually tedious to determine, are not required in the calculations. Given their simplicity, the obtained equations are easily applied to networks of any dimension. The new theory is illustrated for competing sigma factors in bacterial transcription and for a genome-wide network of yeast mRNAs competing for ribosomes. We conclude that molecular competition can drastically influence the network fluxes and lead to negative response coefficients and ultrasensitivity. Competitors that bind a large fraction of the target, like bacterial σ
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28494
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'How molecular competition influences fluxes in gene expression networks.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this