An operational view of intercellular signaling pathways
Animal cells use a conserved repertoire of intercellular signaling pathways to communicate with one another. These pathways are well-studied from a molecular point of view. However, we often lack an "operational" understanding that would allow us to use these pathways to rationally control cellular behaviors. This requires knowing what dynamic input features each pathway perceives and how it processes those inputs to control downstream processes. To address these questions, researchers have begun to reconstitute signaling pathways in living cells, analyzing their dynamic responses to stimuli, and developing new functional representations of their behavior. Here we review important insights obtained through these new approaches, and discuss challenges and opportunities in understanding signaling pathways from an operational point of view.
Additional Information© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Under a Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Available online 24 February 2017. This work was supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF2809 to the Caltech Programmable Molecular Technology Initiative, by the Human Frontiers Science Program (EFRI-11137269), by NIHR01 HD075335, by grant W911NF-11-2-0055 from the U.S. Army Research Office and by the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies through grant W911NF-09-0001 from the U.S. Army Research Office. This work does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred. N.N was supported by HHMI as an International Student Research fellow.
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