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IUBMB Life. 2006 Nov;58(11):659-63.

Sequestration shapes the response of signal transduction cascades.

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Molecular Neurobiology, Free University Berlin, and Institute for Theoretical Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Many signal transduction cascades are composed of covalent modification cycles such as kinase/phosphatase cycles. In the 1980s Goldbeter and Koshland showed that such cycles can exhibit non-linear input-output relations when the enzymes are saturated by their substrates, which may facilitate signal processing. Recent papers show that this mechanism is unlikely to cause non-linearity in mammalian signal transduction cascades as sequestration of the target due to enzyme concentrations present in these cascades will hamper this mechanism. However, sequestration due to high-affinity enzymes can shape the dynamics and steady-state behaviour of signal transduction cascades in different ways, some of which are discussed in this review.

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