Timing cellular decision making under noise via cell-cell communication

  • Many cellular processes require decision making mechanisms, which must act reliably even in the unavoidable presence of substantial amounts of noise. However, the multistable genetic switches that underlie most decision-making processes are dominated by fluctuations that can induce random jumps between alternative cellular states. Here we show, via theoretical modeling of a population of noise-driven bistable genetic switches, that reliable timing of decision-making processes can be accomplished for large enough population sizes, as long as cells are globally coupled by chemical means. In the light of these results, we conjecture that cell proliferation, in the presence of cell-cell communication, could provide a mechanism for reliable decision making in the presence of noise, by triggering cellular transitions only when the whole cell population reaches a certain size. In other words , the summation performed by the cell population would average out the noise and reduce its detrimental impact.

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Author:Aneta Koseska, Alexey Zaikin, Jürgen Kurths, Jordi García-Ojalvo
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Reihe (paper 148)
Document Type:Postprint
Date of Publication (online):2010/07/21
Year of Completion:2009
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2010/07/21
Source:PLoS one 4 (2009), 3, Art. e4872, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004872
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Physik und Astronomie
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Attribution 3.0 unported
Notes extern:
The article was originally published by PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE:
PLoS one. - 4 (2009), 3, Art. e4872 (6 S.)
ISSN 1932-6203
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0004872