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Publications about 'translation'
Articles in journal or book chapters
  1. D.K. Agrawal, S.D. Khare, and E.D. Sontag. Mathematical models of protease-based enzymatic biosensors. 2019. Note: Submitted. Preprint here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/525279v1.Keyword(s): synthetic biology, protease-based circuits, enzymatic circuits, systems biology, Boolean circuits.
    Abstract:
    An important goal of synthetic biology is to build biosensors and circuits with well-defined input-output relationships that operate at speeds found in natural biological systems. However, for molecular computation, most commonly used genetic circuit elements typically involve several steps from input detection to output signal production: transcription, translation, and post-translational modifications. These multiple steps together require up to several hours to respond to a single stimulus, and this limits the overall speed and complexity of genetic circuits. To address this gap, molecular frameworks that rely exclusively on post-translational steps to realize reaction networks that can process inputs at a timescale of seconds to minutes have been proposed. Here, we build mathematical models of fast biosensors capable of producing Boolean logic functionality. We employ protease-based chemical and light-induced switches, investigate their operation, and provide selection guidelines for their use as on-off switches. We then use these switches as elementary blocks, developing models for biosensors that can perform OR and XOR Boolean logic computation while using reaction conditions as tuning parameters. We use sensitivity analysis to determine the time-dependent sensitivity of the output to proteolytic and protein-protein binding reaction parameters. These fast protease-based biosensors can be used to implement complex molecular circuits with a capability of processing multiple inputs controllably and algorithmically. Our framework for evaluating and optimizing circuit performance can be applied to other molecular logic circuits.


  2. D.K. Agrawal, R. Marshall, V. Noireaux, and E.D. Sontag. In vitro implementation of robust gene regulation in a synthetic biomolecular integral controller. 2019. Note: Submitted. Preprint here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/525279v1 .Keyword(s): tracking, synthetic biology, integral feedback, TX/TL, systems biology, dynamical systems, adaptation, internal model principle.
    Abstract:
    Cells respond to biochemical and physical internal as well as external signals. These signals can be broadly classified into two categories: (a) ``actionable'' or ``reference'' inputs that should elicit appropriate biological or physical responses such as gene expression or motility, and (b) ``disturbances'' or ``perturbations'' that should be ignored or actively filtered-out. These disturbances might be exogenous, such as binding of nonspecific ligands, or endogenous, such as variations in enzyme concentrations or gene copy numbers. In this context, the term robustness describes the capability to produce appropriate responses to reference inputs while at the same time being insensitive to disturbances. These two objectives often conflict with each other and require delicate design trade-offs. Indeed, natural biological systems use complicated and still poorly understood control strategies in order to finely balance the goals of responsiveness and robustness. A better understanding of such natural strategies remains an important scientific goal in itself and will play a role in the construction of synthetic circuits for therapeutic and biosensing applications. A prototype problem in robustly responding to inputs is that of ``robust tracking'', defined by the requirement that some designated internal quantity (for example, the level of expression of a reporter protein) should faithfully follow an input signal while being insensitive to an appropriate class of perturbations. Control theory predicts that a certain type of motif, called integral feedback, will help achieve this goal, and this motif is, in fact, a necessary feature of any system that exhibits robust tracking. Indeed, integral feedback has always been a key component of electrical and mechanical control systems, at least since the 18th century when James Watt employed the centrifugal governor to regulate steam engines. Motivated by this knowledge, biological engineers have proposed various designs for biomolecular integral feedback control mechanisms. However, practical and quantitatively predictable implementations have proved challenging, in part due to the difficulty in obtaining accurate models of transcription, translation, and resource competition in living cells, and the stochasticity inherent in cellular reactions. These challenges prevent first-principles rational design and parameter optimization. In this work, we exploit the versatility of an Escherichia coli cell-free transcription-translation (TXTL) to accurately design, model and then build, a synthetic biomolecular integral controller that precisely controls the expression of a target gene. To our knowledge, this is the first design of a functioning gene network that achieves the goal of making gene expression track an externally imposed reference level, achieves this goal even in the presence of disturbances, and whose performance quantitatively agrees with mathematical predictions.


  3. M.A. Al-Radhawi, D. Angeli, and E.D. Sontag. A computational framework for a Lyapunov-enabled analysis of biochemical reaction networks. 2019. Note: Submitted. Preprint here: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/696716v1. Keyword(s): Lyapunov functions, stability, chemical networks, chemixal rection networks, systems biology.
    Abstract:
    This paper deals with the analysis of the dynamics of chemical reaction networks, developing a theoretical framework based only on graphical knowledge and applying regardless of the particular form of kinetics. It paper introduces a class of networks that are "structurally (mono) attractive", by which we mean that they are incapable of exhibiting multiple steady states, oscillation, or chaos by the virtue of their reaction graphs. These networks are characterized by the existence of a universal energy-like function which we call a Robust Lyapunov function (RLF). To find such functions, a finite set of rank-one linear systems is introduced, which form the extremals of a linear convex cone. The problem is then reduced to that of finding a common Lyapunov function for this set of extremals. Based on this characterization, a computational package, Lyapunov-Enabled Analysis of Reaction Networks (LEARN), is provided that constructs such functions or rules out their existence. An extensive study of biochemical networks demonstrates that LEARN offers a new unified framework. We study basic motifs, three-body binding, and transcriptional networks. We focus on cellular signalling networks including various post-translational modification cascades, phosphotransfer and phosphorelay networks, T-cell kinetic proofreading, ERK signaling, and the Ribosome Flow Model.


  4. Y. Zarai, M. Margaliot, E.D. Sontag, and T. Tuller. Controllability analysis and control synthesis for the ribosome flow model. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 15:1351-1364, 2018. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, ribosomes, controllability, RFM.
    Abstract:
    The ribosomal density along the coding region of the mRNA molecule affects various fundamental intracellular phenomena including: protein production rates, organismal fitness, ribosomal drop off, and co-translational protein folding. Thus, regulating translation in order to obtain a desired ribosomal profile along the mRNA molecule is an important biological problem. This paper studies this problem formulated in the context of the ribosome flow model (RFM) in which one views the transition rates between site as controls.


  5. V. H. Nagaraj, J. M. Greene, A. M. Sengupta, and and E.D. Sontag. Translation inhibition and resource balance in the TX-TL cell-free gene expression system. Synthetic Biology, 2:ysx005, 2017. [PDF] Keyword(s): cell-free systems, in vitro synthetic biology.
    Abstract:
    Utilizing the synthetic transcription-translation (TX-TL) system, this paper studies the impact of nucleotide triphosphates (NTPs) and magnesium (Mg2+), on gene expression, in the context of the counterintuitive phenomenon of suppression of gene expression at high NTP concentration. Measuring translation rates for different Mg2+ and NTP concentrations, we observe a complex resource dependence. We demonstrate that translation is the rate-limiting process that is directly inhibited by high NTP concentrations. Additional Mg2+ can partially reverse this inhibition. In several experiments, we observe two maxima of the translation rate viewed as a function of both Mg2+ and NTP concentration, which can be explained in terms of an NTP-independent effect on the ribosome complex and an NTP- Mg2+ titration effect. The non-trivial compensatory effects of abundance of different vital resources signals the presence of complex regulatory mechanisms to achieve optimal gene expression.


  6. Y. Vodovotz, A. Xia, E. Read, J. Bassaganya-Riera, D.A. Hafler, E.D. Sontag, J. Wang, J.S. Tsang, J.D. Day, S. Kleinstein, A.J. Butte, M.C. Altman, R. Hammond, C. Benoist, and S.C. Sealfon. Solving Immunology?. Trends in Immunology, 38:116-127, 2017. [PDF] Keyword(s): Immunology.
    Abstract:
    Emergent responses of the immune system result from the integration of molecular and cellular networks over time and across multiple organs. High-content and high-throughput analysis technologies, concomitantly with data-driven and mechanistic modeling, hold promise for the systematic interrogation of these complex pathways. However, connecting genetic variation and molecular mechanisms to individual phenotypes and health outcomes has proven elusive. Gaps remain in data, and disagreements persist about the value of mechanistic modeling for immunology. This paper presents perspectives that emerged from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) workshop `Complex Systems Science, Modeling and Immunity' and subsequent discussions regarding the potential synergy of high-throughput data acquisition, data-driven modeling, and mechanistic modeling to define new mechanisms of immunological disease and to accelerate the translation of these insights into therapies.


  7. J.A. Ascensao, P. Datta, B. Hancioglu, E.D. Sontag, M.L. Gennaro, and O.A. Igoshin. Non-monotonic response dynamics of glyoxylate shunt genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLoS Computational Biology, 12:e1004741, 2016. [PDF]
    Abstract:
    Understanding how dynamical responses of biological networks are constrained by underlying network topology is one of the fundamental goals of systems biology. Here we employ monotone systems theory to formulate a theorem stating necessary conditions for non-monotonic time-response of a biochemical network to a monotonic stimulus. We apply this theorem to analyze the non-monotonic dynamics of the sigmaB-regulated glyoxylate shunt gene expression in Mycobacterium tuberculosis cells exposed to hypoxia. We first demonstrate that the known network structure is inconsistent with observed dynamics. To resolve this inconsistency we employ the formulated theorem, modeling simulations and optimization along with follow-up dynamic experimental measurements. We show a requirement for post-translational modulation of sigmaB activity in order to reconcile the network dynamics with its topology. The results of this analysis make testable experimental predictions and demonstrate wider applicability of the developed methodology to a wide class of biological systems.


  8. A. Raveh, M. Margaliot, E.D. Sontag, and T. Tuller. A model for competition for ribosomes in the cell. Proc. Royal Society Interface, 13:2015.1062, 2016. [PDF] Keyword(s): resource competition, ribosomes, entrainment, nonlinear systems, stability, contractions, contractive systems.
    Abstract:
    We develop and analyze a general model for large-scale simultaneous mRNA translation and competition for ribosomes. Such models are especially important when dealing with highly expressed genes, as these consume more resources. For our model, we prove that the compound system always converges to a steady-state and that it always entrains or phase locks to periodically time-varying transition rates in any of the mRNA molecules. We use this model to explore the interactions between the various mRNA molecules and ribosomes at steady-state. We show that increasing the length of an mRNA molecule decreases the production rate of all the mRNAs. Increasing any of the codon translation rates in a specific mRNA molecule yields a local effect: an increase in the translation rate of this mRNA, and also a global effect: the translation rates in the other mRNA molecules all increase or all decrease. These results suggest that the effect of codon decoding rates of endogenous and heterologous mRNAs on protein production might be more complicated than previously thought.


  9. M. Margaliot, E.D. Sontag, and T. Tuller. Entrainment to periodic initiation and transition rates in a computational model for gene translation. PLoS ONE, 9(5):e96039, 2014. [WWW] [PDF] [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096039] Keyword(s): ribosomes, entrainment, nonlinear systems, stability, contractions, contractive systems.
    Abstract:
    A recent biological study has demonstrated that the gene expression pattern entrains to a periodically varying abundance of tRNA molecules. This motivates developing mathematical tools for analyzing entrainment of translation elongation to intra-cellular signals such as tRNAs levels and other factors affecting translation. We consider a recent deterministic mathematical model for translation called the Ribosome Flow Model (RFM). We analyze this model under the assumption that the elongation rate of the tRNA genes and/or the initiation rate are periodic functions with a common period T. We show that the protein synthesis pattern indeed converges to a unique periodic trajectory with period T. The analysis is based on introducing a novel property of dynamical systems, called contraction after a short transient (CAST), that may be of independent interest. We provide a sufficient condition for CAST and use it to prove that the RFM is CAST, and that this implies entrainment. Our results support the conjecture that periodic oscillations in tRNA levels and other factors related to the translation process can induce periodic oscillations in protein levels, and suggest a new approach for engineering genes to obtain a desired, periodic, synthesis rate.


  10. D. Angeli and E.D. Sontag. Translation-invariant monotone systems, and a global convergence result for enzymatic futile cycles. Nonlinear Analysis Series B: Real World Applications, 9:128-140, 2008. [PDF] [doi:10.1016/j.nonrwa.2006.09.006] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, nonlinear stability, dynamical systems, monotone systems.
    Abstract:
    Strongly monotone systems of ordinary differential equations which have a certain translation-invariance property are shown to have the property that all projected solutions converge to a unique equilibrium. This result may be seen as a dual of a well-known theorem of Mierczynski for systems that satisfy a conservation law. As an application, it is shown that enzymatic futile cycles have a global convergence property.


  11. M. Chaves, R. Albert, and E.D. Sontag. Robustness and fragility of Boolean models for genetic regulatory networks. J. Theoret. Biol., 235(3):431-449, 2005. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, boolean systems, gene and protein networks.
    Abstract:
    Interactions between genes and gene products give rise to complex circuits that enable cells to process information and respond to external signals. Theoretical studies often describe these interactions using continuous, stochastic, or logical approaches. Here we propose a framework for gene regulatory networks that combines the intuitive appeal of a qualitative description of gene states with a high flexibility in incorporating stochasticity in the duration of cellular processes. We apply our methods to the regulatory network of the segment polarity genes, thus gaining novel insights into the development of gene expression patterns. For example, we show that very short synthesis and decay times can perturb the wild type pattern. On the other hand, separation of timescales between pre- and post-translational processes and a minimal prepattern ensure convergence to the wild type expression pattern regardless of fluctuations.


Conference articles
  1. Y. Zarai, M. Margaliot, E.D. Sontag, and T. Tuller. Controlling the ribosomal density profile in mRNA translation. In Proc. IEEE Conf. Decision and Control, Dec. 2016, pages 4184-4189, 2016. Keyword(s): ribosomes, translation.


  2. D. Angeli and E.D. Sontag. A note on monotone systems with positive translation invariance. In Control and Automation, 2006. MED '06. 14th Mediterranean Conference on, 28-30 June 2006, pages 1-6, 2006. IEEE. Note: Available from ieeexplore.ieee.org. [PDF] [doi:10.1109/MED.2006.3287822B2B2B2B2B2B] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, nonlinear stability, dynamical systems, monotone systems.
    Abstract:
    Strongly monotone systems of ordinary differential equations which have a certain translation-invariance property are shown to have the property that all projected solutions converge to a unique equilibrium. This result may be seen as a dual of a well-known theorem of Mierczynski for systems that satisfy a conservation law. As an application, it is shown that enzymatic futile cycles have a global convergence property.


Internal reports
  1. M. Sadeghi, M.A. Al-Radhawi, M. Margaliot, and E.D. Sontag. On the periodic gain of the Ribosome Flow Model. Technical report, bioRxiv 2018/507988, 2018. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, ribosomes, RFM.
    Abstract:
    We consider a compartmental model for ribosome flow during RNA translation, the Ribosome Flow Model (RFM). This model includes a set of positive transition rates that control the flow from every site to the consecutive site. It has been shown that when these rates are time-varying and jointly T-periodic, the protein production rate converges to a unique T-periodic pattern. Here, we study a problem that can be roughly stated as: can periodic rates yield a higher average production rate than constant rates? We rigorously formulate this question and show via simulations, and rigorous analysis in one simple case, that the answer is no.



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Last modified: Fri Jul 12 13:41:35 2019
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