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Monomeric Bistability and the Role of Autoloops in Gene Regulation

By Stefanie Widder, Javier Macía and Ricard Solé


Genetic toggle switches are widespread in gene regulatory networks (GRN). Bistability, namely the ability to choose among two different stable states, is an essential feature of switching and memory devices. Cells have many regulatory circuits able to provide bistability that endow a cell with efficient and reliable switching between different physiological modes of operation. It is often assumed that negative feedbacks with cooperative binding (i.e. the formation of dimers or multimers) are a prerequisite for bistability. Here we analyze the relation between bistability in GRN under monomeric regulation and the role of autoloops under a deterministic setting. Using a simple geometric argument, we show analytically that bistability can also emerge without multimeric regulation, provided that at least one regulatory autoloop is present

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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