Systematic analysis of noise reduction properties of coupled and isolated feed-forward loops.
Suchana Chakravarty | Attila Csikász-Nagy
Cells can maintain their homeostasis in a noisy environment since their signaling pathways can filter out noise somehow. Several network motifs have been proposed for biological noise filtering and, among these, feed-forward loops have received special attention. Specific feed-forward loops show noise reducing capabilities, but we notice that this feature comes together with a reduced signal transducing performance. In posttranslational signaling pathways feed-forward loops do not function in isolation, rather they are coupled with other motifs to serve a more complex function. Feed-forward loops are often coupled to other feed-forward loops, which could affect their noise-reducing capabilities. Here we systematically study all feed-forward loop motifs and all their pairwise coupled systems with activation-inactivation kinetics to identify which networks are capable of good noise reduction, while keeping their signal transducing performance. Our analysis shows that coupled feed-forward loops can provide better noise reduction and, at the same time, can increase the signal transduction of the system. The coupling of two coherent 1 or one coherent 1 and one incoherent 4 feed-forward loops can give the best performance in both of these measures.Show more [+] Less [-]