Robustness of feedback control in cellular networks
It is a well estabished fact from control theory and has been confirmed in various cellular contexts that negative feedback control can stabilize the abundance of biochemical species, like proteins, in the presence of both extracellular and intracellular, i.e. transcriptional, noise. In addition, it is also well known that negative feedbacks in conjunction with time delay can lead to oscillations.
As cellular networks, especially stress response networks, usually involve both negative feedbacks as well as a transcriptional response, leading to a delay, oscillatory behaviour should be observed much more often than it is actually anticipated.
In this project, we explore by a combination of theoretical and experimental approaches, how feedback-regulated signal-response networks avoid oscillatory behaviour by combining fast and slow feedback control mechanisms.
This may lead the way to either induce oscillations in adaptation responses or, reversely, abolish oscillations in cellular stress responses, like, e.g., the NF-kB system. This way, we want to understand the functional role that oscillatory activation patterns might have.