Research ArticleCOMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY

Error Minimization in Lateral Inhibition Circuits

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Signaling  06 Jul 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 129, pp. ra51
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000857

You are currently viewing the editor's summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Minimizing Errors

The development of multicellular organisms depends on the acquisition of distinct fates for different cells. In many instances, a particular cell is selected for differentiation toward a particular fate from a group of equivalent cells through a process of lateral inhibition, in which each cell produces substances that inhibit the differentiation of their neighbors. Barad et al. used probabilistic modeling to investigate sources of error in the selection of sensory organ precursor (SOP) cells in the fruit fly, a well-known system in which lateral inhibition is mediated through interactions between Notch and its ligands Delta and Serrate. Their model indicated that the accuracy of SOP selection depends on the length of the delay between the initiation of Notch ligand production by a given cell and the ensuing inhibition of the differentiation of neighboring cells. Moreover, their analysis, confirmed by observations of mutant flies, indicated that this delay—and therefore the accuracy of SOP selection—was minimized through cell-autonomous interactions between Notch and its ligands.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Signaling