Compartmentalization of a bistable switch enables memory to cross a feedback-driven transition

Andreas Doncic, Oguzhan Atay, Ervin Valk, Alicia Grande, Alan Bush, Gustavo Vasen, Alejandro Colman-Lerner, Mart Loog, Jan M. Skotheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Cells make accurate decisions in the face of molecular noise and environmental fluctuations by relying not only on present pathway activity, but also on their memory of past signaling dynamics. Once a decision is made, cellular transitions are often rapid and switch-like due to positive feedback loops in the regulatory network. While positive feedback loops are good at promoting switch-like transitions, they are not expected to retain information to inform subsequent decisions. However, this expectation is based on our current understanding of network motifs that accounts for temporal, but not spatial, dynamics. Here, we show how spatial organization of the feedback-driven yeast G1/S switch enables the transmission of memory of past pheromone exposure across this transition. We expect this to be one of many examples where the exquisite spatial organization of the eukaryotic cell enables previously well-characterized network motifs to perform new and unexpected signal processing functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1195
Number of pages14
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Compartmentalization of a bistable switch enables memory to cross a feedback-driven transition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this