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Structure and function of genetic regulatory circuits in Escherichia coli

Michael Wall
Los Alamos National Laboratory

Gene regulation plays a central role in enabling a cell to tailor its capabilities to the environment and to control its role in a group of many cells. For example, bacteria use gene regulation to produce enzymes when key nutrients become available, and higher organisms use gene regulation to differentiate cells during growth and development. The genes and gene products involved in the genetic regulatory response to a signal comprise a genetic regulatory circuit, or gene circuit. I will present results of some recent studies of study structure/function relations in Escherichia coli gene circuits, using mathematical models to determine the functional consequences of alternative designs. The studies predict which gene-circuit designs might confer a selective advantage, explaining some patterns observed among natural systems.

References:

(Download PDFs at http://public.lanl.gov/mewall/publications_selected.shtml)

M.E. Wall, W.S. Hlavacek, M.A. Savageau. 2003. Design principles for regulator gene expression in a repressible gene circuit. J Mol Biol 332:861-876.

M.E. Wall, W.S. Hlavacek, M.A. Savageau. 2004. Design of gene circuits: lessons from bacteria. Nat Rev Genet 5:34-42.

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