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J Theor Biol. 2004 Mar 21;227(2):229-37.

Bistability and switching in the lysis/lysogeny genetic regulatory network of bacteriophage lambda.

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Department of Mathematics, Advanced Computational Modelling Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.


Bistability and switching are two important aspects of the genetic regulatory network of lambda phage. Positive and negative feedbacks are key regulatory mechanisms in this network. By the introduction of threshold values, the developmental pathway of lambda phage is divided into different stages. If the protein level reaches a threshold value, positive or negative feedback will be effective and regulate the process of development. Using this regulatory mechanism, we present a quantitative model to realize bistability and switching of lambda phage based on experimental data. This model gives descriptions of decisive mechanisms for different pathways in induction. A stochastic model is also introduced for describing statistical properties of switching in induction. A stochastic degradation rate is used to represent intrinsic noise in induction for switching the system from the lysogenic pathway to the lysis pathway. The approach in this paper represents an attempt to describe the regulatory mechanism in genetic regulatory network under the influence of intrinsic noise in the framework of continuous models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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