Robustness and fragility in the yeast High Osmolarity signal transduction pathway
Conference poster, 2008
The cellular signalling networks that integrate various environmental stimuli with information on cellular status must be robust to stimuli fluctuations as well as to stochastic differences in the amounts of signalling components. Here, we challenge the Hog signal transduction pathway with systematic disturbances in components’ expression levels implemented by a “genetic tug-of-war”, or gToW, methodology. The disturbances were performed under various external perturbations, including pathway activation by osmotic shock. Ideally, the obtained sensitivity profiles will allow us to impose parameter constraints. However, a more important aspect is the qualitative improvement of model structures, when local fragilities cannot be explained by the model structure. The resulting phenotypes in this particular study reflect a wide range of sensitivities, and disperse without any clear pattern over biochemical functions and pathway modules alike, with the most sensitive nodes being PBS2 and SSK1. Surprisingly, the “neighbouring” nodes HOG1 and SSK2 were affected to a much lesser extent, questioning our current understanding.