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The severe energy constraints of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) require energy-efficient communication protocols in order to fulfill the objectives of the application. Cross-layer design is a technique which can potentially be used to improve the overall performance of WSNs by way of jointly optimizing and exploiting the interactions between various layers of the network protocol stack This paper proposes a solution to overcome the bottle neck phenomena in cluster-based sensor networks. Transmission tuning algorithm for these networks is proposed based on our modeling of the extra burden of the sensor nodes that have direct communication with the base station. Simulation results demonstrate that the clustered schemes based on the proposed idea can achieve a longer overall lifetime of a sensor network about 35% longer than traditional HEED protocol.