Nonlinear Motif Robustness

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Thomas Todd, Mario di Bernardo, John Hogan

BCCS - University of Bristol, United Kingdom

When looking to design gene regulatory networks, ensuring that the network is robust is a high priority. We have performed an analytic and computational investigation on nonlinear models of gene motifs. There are many competing definitions of robustness that are applicable to synthetic biology (e.g. [1], [2] & [3]). Using a measure of parameter robustness based on the one put forward by Del Vecchio et al. [1], we isolate the effect of changing topology on the robustness and show how moving between different motifs affects robustness. These results are useful for predicting how (for example) knockout experiments will affect the robustness of genetic networks. [1] Ghaemi, R., Sun, J., Iglesias, P. a, & Del Vecchio, D. (2009). A method for determining the robustness of bio-molecular oscillator models. BMC systems biology, 3, 95. doi:10.1186/1752-0509-3-95 [2] Rizk, A., Batt, G., Fages, F., & Soliman, S. (2009). A general computational method for robustness analysis with applications to synthetic gene networks. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 25(12), i169–78. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btp200 [3] Kitano, H. (2007). Towards a theory of biological robustness. Molecular systems biology, 3(137), 137. doi:10.1038/msb4100179