The (complete) zoo of pattern-formation gene networks
Speaker: Isaac Salazar (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Barcelona)
A fundamental question of developmental biology is how pattern formation occur. In this article we restrict ourselves to the pattern formation that occurs without cell movement (i.e. no cell division, cell contraction or any cell behaviors leading to cell movement) but just by signaling and gene networks. Our questions are:
1-Which are the topologies of the gene networks that can lead to pattern transformation?
2-Is there a limited number of classes into which pattern-transformation gene networks can be classified according to their topology, dynamics and pattern transformation capacities?
3-Can we characterize such classes and relate them to experimental gene networks underlying specific pattern transformations in embryos?
By gene network topology we mean which gene products regulate each other and which of these regulations are positive or negative (see FIG). In this article we show that, in spite of the huge size of the space of possible gene networks and the complexity of development, the gene network topologies capable of pattern transformation can be classified into just three topological classes and their combinations. Gene networks within these classes share the same logic on how they lead to pattern transformations and very similar pattern transformations.
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