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Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2013 Apr;111(2-3):141-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2012.09.007. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

The role of information in cell regulation.

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1
Department of Environmental Science, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, 70211, Finland. keith.baverstock@uef.fi

Abstract

The organised state of living cells must derive from information internal to the system; however, there are strong reasons, based on sound evidence, to reject the base sequence information encoded in the genomic DNA as being directly relevant to the regulation of cellular phenotype. Rather, it is argued here that highly specific relational information, encoded on the gene products, mainly proteins, is responsible for phenotype. This regulatory information emerges as the peptide folds into a tertiary structure in much the same way as enzymic activity emerges under the same circumstances. The DNA coding sequence serves as a "data base" in which a second category of relational information is stored to enable accurate reproduction of the cellular peptides. In the context of the cell, therefore, information is physical in character and contributes, through its ability to dissipate free energy, to the maximisation of the entropy of the cell according to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

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