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A General Mechanism for Network-Dosage Compensation in Gene Circuits

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Science  24 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5999, pp. 1656-1660
DOI: 10.1126/science.1190544

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Invariant in the Face of Change

The number of copies of a gene network in a cell, or network dosage, is altered in a variety of situations, including switching between haploid and diploid states, and during cell cycle progression. Combining experimental and computational approaches, Acar et al. (p. 1656) explore how the activity of a gene network can be invariant despite alterations in network dosage. A two-component genetic circuit with elements of opposite regulatory activity (that is, an activator and an inhibitor) was revealed as a minimal requirement. Specific network topologies and a 1-to-1 interaction stoichiometry between the activating and inhibiting agents also represented essential elements for network-dosage compensation.