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Designing Robustness to Temperature in a Feedforward Loop Circuit

By Shaunak Sen, Jongmin Kim, Richard M. Murray

Posted 07 Nov 2013
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/000091

Incoherent feedforward loops represent important biomolecular circuit elements capable of a rich set of dynamic behavior including adaptation and pulsed responses. Temperature can modulate some of these properties through its effect on the underlying reaction rate parameters. It is generally unclear how to design such a circuit where the properties are robust to variations in temperature. Here, we address this issue using a combination of tools from control and dynamical systems theory as well as preliminary experimental measurements towards such a design. We formalize temperature as an uncertainty acting on system dynamics, exploring both structured and unstructured uncertainty representations. Next, we analyze a standard incoherent feedforward loop circuit, noting mechanisms that intrinsically confer temperature robustness to some of its properties. Further, we explore different negative feedback configurations that can enhance the robustness to temperature. Finally, we find that the response of an incoherent feedforward loop circuit in cells can change with temperature. These results present groundwork for the design of a temperature-robust incoherent feedforward loop circuit.

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