Trading bits in the readout from a genetic network.

TitleTrading bits in the readout from a genetic network.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBauer, M, Petkova, MD, Gregor, T, Wieschaus, EF, Bialek, W
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Volume118
Issue46
Date Published2021 11 16
ISSN1091-6490
KeywordsAnimals, Diptera, Gene Expression Regulation, Gene Regulatory Networks, Models, Biological, Transcription Factors
Abstract

<p>In the regulation of gene expression, information of relevance to the organism is represented by the concentrations of transcription factor molecules. To extract this information the cell must effectively "measure" these concentrations, but there are physical limits to the precision of these measurements. We use the gap gene network in the early fly embryo as an example of the tradeoff between the precision of concentration measurements and the transmission of relevant information. For thresholded measurements we find that lower thresholds are more important, and fine tuning is not required for near-optimal information transmission. We then consider general sensors, constrained only by a limit on their information capacity, and find that thresholded sensors can approach true information theoretic optima. The information theoretic approach allows us to identify the optimal sensor for the entire gap gene network and to argue that the physical limitations of sensing necessitate the observed multiplicity of enhancer elements, with sensitivities to combinations rather than single transcription factors.</p>

DOI10.1073/pnas.2109011118
Alternate JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
PubMed ID34772813
PubMed Central IDPMC8609648
Grant ListR01 GM097275 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U01 DA047730 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
U01 EB021239 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
/ HHMI / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States