The multi-tier structure of patterning networks increases access to positional information

Mikhail Tikhonov Harvard University CMSA Shawn C. Little Howard Hughes Medical Institute Thomas Gregor Princeton University

Publications of CMSA of Harvard mathscidoc:1702.38048

In pattern-forming developmental systems, cells commonly interpret graded input signals, known as morphogens. Morphogens often pattern tissues through cascades of sequential gene expression steps. Such a multi-tiered structure appears to constitute suboptimal use of the positional information provided by the input morphogen because noise is added at each tier. However, the conventional theory neglects the role of the format in which information is encoded. We argue that the relevant performance measure is not solely the amount of information carried by the morphogen, but the amount of information that can be accessed by the downstream network. We demonstrate that quantifying the information that is accessible to the system naturally explains the prevalence of multi-tiered network architectures as a consequence of the noise inherent to the control of gene expression. We support our argument with empirical observations from patterning along the major body axis of the fruit fly embryo.
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@inproceedings{mikhailthe,
  title={The multi-tier structure of patterning networks increases access to positional information},
  author={Mikhail Tikhonov, Shawn C. Little, and Thomas Gregor},
  url={http://archive.ymsc.tsinghua.edu.cn/pacm_paperurl/20170207034447370132248},
}
Mikhail Tikhonov, Shawn C. Little, and Thomas Gregor. The multi-tier structure of patterning networks increases access to positional information. http://archive.ymsc.tsinghua.edu.cn/pacm_paperurl/20170207034447370132248.
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