Noise resistance in the spindle assembly checkpoint

Andreas Doncic, Eshel Ben-Jacob, Naama Barkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Genetically identical cells vary in the amount of expressed proteins even when growing under the same conditions. It is not yet clear how cellular information processing copes with such stochastic fluctuations in protein levels. Here we examine the capacity of the spindle assembly checkpoint to buffer temporal fluctuations in the expression of Cdc20, a critical checkpoint target whose activity is inhibited to prevent premature cell cycle progression. Using mathematical modeling, we demonstrate that the checkpoint can buffer significant fluctuations in Cdc20 production rate. Critical to this buffering capacity is the use of sequestering-based mechanism for inhibiting Cdc20, as apposed to inhibition by enhancing protein degradation. We propose that the design of biological networks is limited by the need to overcome noise in gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbermsb4100070
Pages (from-to)2006.0027
JournalMolecular Systems Biology
StatePublished - May 16 2006


  • Cell cycle
  • Spindle assembly checkpoint and noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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