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Robustness in gene circuits: clustering of functional responses

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2 Author(s)
M. J. Dunlop ; Div. of Eng. & Appl. Sci., California Inst. of Technol., USA ; M. E. Wall

In contrast to engineering applications, in which the structure of control laws are designed to satisfy prescribed function requirements, in biology it is often necessary to infer gene-circuit function from incomplete data on gene-circuit structure. By using the feed-forward loop as a model system, this paper introduces a technique for classifying gene-circuit function given gene-circuit structure. In simulations performed on a comprehensive set of models that span a broad range of parameter space, some designs are robust, producing one unique type of functional response regardless of parameter selection. Other designs may exhibit a variety of functional responses, depending upon parameter values. We conclude that, although some feed-forward loop models have designs that lend themselves to unique function inference, others have designs for which the function type may be uncertain.

Published in:

Proceedings of the 2005, American Control Conference, 2005.

Date of Conference:

8-10 June 2005