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Bioessays. 2007 Jan;29(1):85-90.

Coupled positive and negative feedback circuits form an essential building block of cellular signaling pathways.

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College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea.


Cellular circuits have positive and negative feedback loops that allow them to respond properly to noisy external stimuli. It is intriguing that such feedback loops exist in many cases in a particular form of coupled positive and negative feedback loops with different time delays. As a result of our mathematical simulations and investigations into various experimental evidences, we found that such coupled feedback circuits can rapidly turn on a reaction to a proper stimulus, robustly maintain its status, and immediately turn off the reaction when the stimulus disappears. In other words, coupled feedback loops enable cellular systems to produce perfect responses to noisy stimuli with respect to signal duration and amplitude. This suggests that coupled positive and negative feedback loops form essential signal transduction motifs in cellular signaling systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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