Sensitivity is one of the hallmarks of biological and pharmacological responses. However, the principle of controlling sensitivity remains unclear. Here we theoretically analyse a simple biochemical reaction and find that the signal transfer efficiency of the transient peak amplitude attenuates depending on the strength of negative regulation. We experimentally find that many signalling pathways in various cell lines, including the Akt and ERK pathways, can be approximated by simple biochemical reactions and that the same property of the attenuation of signal transfer efficiency was observed for such pathways. Because of this property, a downstream molecule should show higher sensitivity to an activator and lower sensitivity to an inhibitor than an upstream molecule. Indeed, we experimentally verify that S6, which lies downstream of Akt, shows lower sensitivity to an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor than Akt. Thus, cells can control downstream sensitivity through the attenuation of signal transfer efficiency by changing the expression level of negative regulators.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)