Publications by Eduardo D. Sontag in year 2011
Articles in journal or book chapters
  1. G. Craciun, C. Pantea, and E.D. Sontag. Graph-theoretic analysis of multistability and monotonicity for biochemical reaction networks. In H. Koeppl, G. Setti, M. di Bernardo, and D. Densmore, editors, Design and Analysis of Biomolecular Circuits, pages 63-72. Springer-Verlag, 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): biochemical networks, monotone systems.
    This is a short expository article describing how the species-reaction graph (SR graph) can be used to analyze both multistability and monotonicity of biochemical networks.

  2. E.D. Sontag. Input to State Stability. In W. S. Levine, editor, The Control Systems Handbook: Control System Advanced Methods, Second Edition., pages 45.1-45.21 (1034-1054). CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): input to state stability, integral input to state stability, iISS, ISS, input to output stability.
    An encyclopedia-type article on foundations of ISS.

  3. E.D. Sontag. Modularity, retroactivity, and structural identification. In H. Koeppl, G. Setti, M. di Bernardo, and D. Densmore, editors, Design and Analysis of Biomolecular Circuits, pages 183-202. Springer-Verlag, 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): modularity, retroactivity, identification.
    Many reverse-engineering techniques in systems biology rely upon data on steady-state (or dynamic) perturbations --obtained from siRNA, gene knock-down or overexpression, kinase and phosphatase inhibitors, or other interventions-- in order to understand the interactions between different ``modules'' in a network. This paper first reviews one such popular such technique, introduced by the author and collaborators, and focuses on why conclusions drawn from its use may be misleading due to ``retroactivity'' (impedance or load) effects. A theoretical result characterizing stoichiometric-induced steady-state retroactivity effects is given for a class of biochemical networks.

  4. E.D. Sontag. Stability and feedback stabilization. In Robert Meyers, editor, Mathematics of Complexity and Dynamical Systems, pages 1639-1652. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): stability, nonlinear control, feedback stabilization.
    The problem of stabilization of equilibria is one of the central issues in control. In addition to its intrinsic interest, it represents a first step towards the solution of more complicated problems, such as the stabilization of periodic orbits or general invariant sets, or the attainment of other control objectives, such as tracking, disturbance rejection, or output feedback, all of which may be interpreted as requiring the stabilization of some quantity (typically, some sort of ``error'' signal). A very special case, when there are no inputs, is that of stability. This short and informal article provides an introduction to the subject.

  5. A.R. Teel, T.T. Georgiou, L. Praly, and E.D. Sontag. Input-Output Stability. In W. S. Levine, editor, The Control Systems Handbook: Control System Advanced Methods, Second Edition., pages 44.1-44.23 (1011-1033). CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2011. [PDF]
    An encyclopedia-type article on foundations of input/output stability.

  6. R. Albert, B. DasGupta, R. Hegde, G.S. Sivanathan, A. Gitter, G. Gürsoy, P. Paul, and E.D. Sontag. A new computationally efficient measure of topological redundancy of biological and social networks. Physical Review E, 84:036117, 2011. [PDF]
    In this paper, we introduce a topological redundancy measure for labeled directed networks that is formal, computationally efficient and applicable to a variety of directed networks such as cellular signaling, metabolic and social interaction networks. We demonstrate the computational efficiency of our measure by computing its value and statistical significance on a number of biological and social networks with up to several thousands of nodes and edges. Our results suggest a number of interesting observations: (1) social networks are more redundant that their biological counterparts, (2) transcriptional networks are less redundant than signaling networks, (3) the topological redundancy of the C. elegans metabolic network is largely due to its inclusion of currency metabolites, and (4) the redundancy of signaling networks is highly (negatively) correlated with monotonicity of their dynamics.

  7. D. Angeli, P. de Leenheer, and E.D. Sontag. Persistence results for chemical reaction networks with time-dependent kinetics and no global conservation laws. SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, 71:128-146, 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): biochemical networks, fluxes, Petri nets, persistence, biochemical networks with inputs.
    New checkable criteria for persistence of chemical reaction networks are proposed, which extend and complement existing ones. The new results allow the consideration of reaction rates which are time-varying, thus incorporating the effects of external signals, and also relax the assumption of existence of global conservation laws, thus allowing for inflows (production) and outflows (degradation). For time-invariant networks parameter-dependent conditions for persistence of certain classes of networks are provided. As an illustration, two networks arising in the systems biology literature are analyzed, namely a hypoxia and an apoptosis network.

  8. L. Bleris, Z. Xie, D. Glass, A. Adadey, E.D. Sontag, and Y. Benenson. Synthetic incoherent feed-forward circuits show adaptation to the amount of their genetic template. Molecular Systems Biology, 7:519-, 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): adaptation, feedforward loops, systems biology, synthetic biology, incoherent feedforward loop, feedforward, IFFL.
    Natural and synthetic biological networks must function reliably in the face of fluctuating stoichiometry of their molecular components. These fluctuations are caused in part by changes in relative expression efficiency and the DNA template amount of the network-coding genes. Gene product levels could potentially be decoupled from these changes via built-in adaptation mechanisms, thereby boosting network reliability. Here we show that a mechanism based on an incoherent feed-forward motif enables adaptive gene expression in mammalian cells. We modeled, synthesized, and tested transcriptional and post-transcriptional incoherent loops and found that in all cases the gene product adapts to changes in DNA template abundance. We also observed that the post-transcriptional form results in superior adaptation behavior, higher absolute expression levels, and lower intrinsic fluctuations. Our results support a previously-hypothesized endogenous role in gene dosage compensation for such motifs and suggest that their incorporation in synthetic networks will improve their robustness and reliability.

  9. S.N. Dashkovskiy, D.V. Efimov, and E.D. Sontag. Ustoichivost' ot vhoda k sostoyaniu i smezhnie svoystva sistem (In Russian, Input to state stability and allied system properties). Avtomatika i Telemekhanika (Automation and Remote Control), 72(8):1579-1614, 2011. [PDF]

  10. A.C. Jiang, A. C. Ventura, E. D. Sontag, S. D. Merajver, A. J. Ninfa, and D. Del Vecchio. Load-induced modulation of signal transduction networks. Science Signaling, 4, issue 194:ra67, 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): systems biology, biochemical networks, synthetic biology, futile cycles, singular perturbations, modularity.
    Biological signal transduction networks are commonly viewed as circuits that pass along in the process amplifying signals, enhancing sensitivity, or performing other signal-processing to transcriptional and other components. Here, we report on a "reverse-causality" phenomenon, which we call load-induced modulation. Through a combination of analytical and experimental tools, we discovered that signaling was modulated, in a surprising way, by downstream targets that receive the signal and, in doing so, apply what in physics is called a load. Specifically, we found that non-intuitive changes in response dynamics occurred for a covalent modification cycle when load was present. Loading altered the response time of a system, depending on whether the activity of one of the enzymes was maximal and the other was operating at its minimal rate or whether both enzymes were operating at submaximal rates. These two conditions, which we call "limit regime" and "intermediate regime," were associated with increased or decreased response times, respectively. The bandwidth, the range of frequency in which the system can process information, decreased in the presence of load, suggesting that downstream targets participate in establishing a balance between noise-filtering capabilities and a its ability to process high-frequency stimulation. Nodes in a signaling network are not independent relay devices, but rather are modulated by their downstream targets

  11. O. Shoval, U. Alon, and E.D. Sontag. Symmetry invariance for adapting biological systems. SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, 10:857-886, 2011. Note: (See here for a small typo: [PDF] Keyword(s): identifiability, adaptation, biological adaptation, perfect adaptation, adaptation, feedforward loops, integral feedback, scale invariance, systems biology, transient behavior, symmetries, fcd, fold-change detection, incoherent feedforward loop, feedforward, IFFL.
    Often, the ultimate goal of regulation is to maintain a narrow range of concentration levels of vital quantities (homeostasis, adaptation) while at the same time appropriately reacting to changes in the environment (signal detection or sensitivity). Much theoretical, modeling, and analysis effort has been devoted to the understanding of these questions, traditionally in the context of steady-state responses to constant or step-changing stimuli. In this paper, we present a new theorem that provides a necessary and sufficient characterization of invariance of transient responses to symmetries in inputs. A particular example of this property, scale invariance (a.k.a. "fold change detection"), appears to be exhibited by biological sensory systems ranging from bacterial chemotaxis pathways to signal transduction mechanisms in eukaryotes. The new characterization amounts to the solvability of an associated partial differential equation. It is framed in terms of a notion which considerably extends equivariant actions of compact Lie groups. For several simple system motifs that are recurrent in biology, the solvability criterion may be checked explicitly.

Conference articles
  1. D. Angeli and E.D. Sontag. A small-gain result for orthant-monotone systems in feedback: the non sign-definite case. In Proc. IEEE Conf. Decision and Control, Orlando, Dec. 2011, pages WeC09.1, 2011. Keyword(s): small-gain theorem, monotone systems.
    This note introduces a small-gain result for interconnected MIMO orthant-monotone systems for which no matching condition is required between the partial orders in input and output spaces of the considered subsystems. Previous results assumed that the partial orders adopted would be induced by positivity cones in input and output spaces and that such positivity cones should fulfill a compatibility rule: namely either be coincident or be opposite. Those two configurations corresponded to positive-feedback or negative feedback cases. We relax those results by allowing arbitrary orthant orders.

  2. O. Shoval, U. Alon, and E.D. Sontag. Input symmetry invariance, and applications to biological systems. In Proc. IEEE Conf. Decision and Control, Orlando, Dec. 2011, pages TuA02.5, 2011. Keyword(s): adaptation, biological adaptation, perfect adaptation, adaptation, feedforward loops, integral feedback, scale invariance, systems biology, transient behavior, symmetries, fcd, fold-change detection, jump Markov processes.
    This paper studies invariance with respect to symmetries in sensory fields, a particular case of which, scale invariance, has recently been found in certain eukaryotic as well as bacterial cell signaling systems. We describe a necessary and sufficient characterization of symmetry invariance in terms of equivariant transformations, show how this characterization helps find all possible symmetries in standard models of biological adaptation, and discuss symmetry-invariant searches.

Internal reports
  1. E.D. Sontag. Remarks on invariance of population distributions for systems with equivariant internal dynamics. Technical report, arxiv.1108.3245, August 2011. [PDF] Keyword(s): adaptation, biological adaptation, perfect adaptation, scale invariance, systems biology, transient behavior, symmetries, fcd, fold-change detection, jump Markov processes.



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