Positional information generated by spatially distributed signaling cascades

Munoz-Garcia, Javier, Neufeld, Zoltan and Kholodenko, Boris N. (2009) Positional information generated by spatially distributed signaling cascades. PLoS Computational Biology, 5 3: e1000330.1-e1000330.11. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000330

Author Munoz-Garcia, Javier
Neufeld, Zoltan
Kholodenko, Boris N.
Title Positional information generated by spatially distributed signaling cascades
Journal name PLoS Computational Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1553-734X
Publication date 2009-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000330
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 3
Start page e1000330.1
End page e1000330.11
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United Sates
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Abstract The temporal and stationary behavior of protein modification cascades has been extensively studied, yet little is known about the spatial aspects of signal propagation. We have previously shown that the spatial separation of opposing enzymes, such as a kinase and a phosphatase, creates signaling activity gradients. Here we show under what conditions signals stall in the space or robustly propagate through spatially distributed signaling cascades. Robust signal propagation results in activity gradients with long plateaus, which abruptly decay at successive spatial locations. We derive an approximate analytical solution that relates the maximal amplitude and propagation length of each activation profile with the cascade level, protein diffusivity, and the ratio of the opposing enzyme activities. The control of the spatial signal propagation appears to be very different from the control of transient temporal responses for spatially homogenous cascades. For spatially distributed cascades where activating and deactivating enzymes operate far from saturation, the ratio of the opposing enzyme activities is shown to be a key parameter controlling signal propagation. The signaling gradients characteristic for robust signal propagation exemplify a pattern formation mechanism that generates precise spatial guidance for multiple cellular processes and conveys information about the cell size to the nucleus.
Keyword Reaction diffusion mechanism
Protein kinase cascades
Map kinase
Transduction pathways
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article no. e1000330

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
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Created: Tue, 31 Jan 2012, 21:06:57 EST by Kay Mackie on behalf of School of Mathematics & Physics