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posted 17. January 2004 14:56
PNAS | January 13, 2004 | vol. 101 | no. 2 | 580-585
Design of genetic networks with specified functions by evolution in silico
Paul François and Vincent Hakim
Abstract: Recent studies have provided insights into the modular structure of genetic regulatory networks and emphasized the interest of quantitative functional descriptions. Here, to provide a priori knowledge of the structure of functional modules, we describe an evolutionary procedure in silico that creates small gene networks performing basic tasks. We used it to create networks functioning as bistable switches or oscillators. The obtained circuits provide a variety of functional designs, demonstrate the crucial role of posttranscriptional interactions, and highlight design principles also found in known biological networks. The procedure should prove helpful as a way to understand and create small functional modules with diverse functions as well as to analyze large networks.
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