Signaling pathways often transmit multiple signals through a single shared transcription factor (TF) and encode signal information by differentially regulating TF dynamics. However, signal information will be lost unless it can be reliably decoded by downstream genes. To understand the limits on dynamic information transduction, we apply information theory to quantify how much gene expression information the yeast TF Msn2 can transduce to target genes in the amplitude or frequency of its activation dynamics. We find that although the amount of information transmitted by Msn2 to single target genes is limited, information transduction can be increased by modulating promoter cis-elements or by integrating information from multiple genes. By correcting for extrinsic noise, we estimate an upper bound on information transduction. Overall, we find that information transduction through amplitude and frequency regulation of Msn2 is limited to error-free transduction of signal identity, but not signal intensity information.
- Naama Barkai, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
© 2015, Hansen & O'Shea
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