TitleThe role of mRNA and protein stability in the function of coupled positive and negative feedback systems in eukaryotic cells.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBendtsen KMoss, Jensen MH, Krishna S, Semsey S
JournalSci Rep
Date Published2015

Oscillators and switches are important elements of regulation in biological systems. These are composed of coupling negative feedback loops, which cause oscillations when delayed, and positive feedback loops, which lead to memory formation. Here, we examine the behavior of a coupled feedback system, the Negative Autoregulated Frustrated bistability motif (NAF). This motif is a combination of two previously explored motifs, the frustrated bistability motif (FBM) and the negative auto regulation motif (NAR), which both can produce oscillations. The NAF motif was previously suggested to govern long term memory formation in animals, and was used as a synthetic oscillator in bacteria. We build a mathematical model to analyze the dynamics of the NAF motif. We show analytically that the NAF motif requires an asymmetry in the strengths of activation and repression links in order to produce oscillations. We show that the effect of time delays in eukaryotic cells, originating from mRNA export and protein import, are negligible in this system. Based on the reported protein and mRNA half-lives in eukaryotic cells, we find that even though the NAF motif possesses the ability for oscillations, it mostly promotes constant protein expression at the biologically relevant parameter regimes.

Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID26365394
PubMed Central IDPMC4568459