Temporal precision of molecular events with regulation and feedback

Shivam Gupta, Sean Fancher, Hendrik C Korswagen, Andrew Mugler

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cellular behaviors such as migration, division, and differentiation rely on precise timing, and yet the molecular events that govern these behaviors are highly stochastic. We investigate regulatory strategies that decrease the timing noise of molecular events. Autoregulatory feedback increases noise. Yet we find that in the presence of regulation by a second species, autoregulatory feedback decreases noise. To explain this finding, we develop a method to calculate the optimal regulation function that minimizes the timing noise. The method reveals that the combination of feedback and regulation minimizes noise by maximizing the number of molecular events that must happen in sequence before a threshold is crossed. We compute the optimal timing precision for all two-node networks with regulation and feedback, derive a generic lower bound on timing noise, and discuss our results in the context of neuroblast migration during Caenorhabditis elegans development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)062420
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6-1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


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