Noise Induces Hopping between NF-kB Entrainment Modes

Recent work by Professor Savas Tay and collaborators at the University of Copenhagen and ETH Zurich has been featured as the cover article for the December 21st issue of Cell Systems. In their paper, titled, "Noise Induces Hopping between NF-κB Entrainment Modes", they describe how periodic stimulations of the protein NF-κB induces a unique phenomenon known as "cellular mode hopping", where there are jumps between different frequency modes of the protein. Computational analysis demonstrated that biochemical noise facilitates the hopping between these frequency modes. This observed phenomenon in NF-κB, an oscillatory protein that controls gene expression, suggests that there is a mechanism for the cell to regulate the production of proteins and the expression of different genes over time.

It is not yet fully understood the exact mechanism through which cells coordinate gene regulation and expression, however, the noise-induced hopping phenomenon demonstrated in NF-κB suggests that noise may play an important role for allowing proteins to coordinate multiple gene expression through inducing changes in the frequency of oscillation in and out of the nucleus.

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