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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jul 22;107(4):048101. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Multiplexing biochemical signals.

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FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), Science Park 104, 1098 XG Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In this Letter we show that living cells can multiplex biochemical signals, i.e., transmit multiple signals through the same signaling pathway simultaneously, and yet respond to them very specifically. We demonstrate how two binary input signals can be encoded in the concentration of a common signaling protein, which is then decoded such that each of the two output signals provides reliable information about one corresponding input. Under biologically relevant conditions the network can reach the maximum amount of information that can be transmitted, which is 2 bits.

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