The transcription factor Myc plays a central role in regulating cell-fate decisions, including proliferation, growth, and apoptosis. To maintain a normal cell physiology, it is critical that the control of Myc dynamics is precisely orchestrated. Recent studies suggest that such control of Myc can be achieved at the post-translational level via protein stability modulation. Myc is regulated by two Ras effector pathways: the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways. To gain quantitative insight into Myc dynamics, we have developed a mathematical model to analyze post-translational regulation of Myc via sequential phosphorylation by Erk and PI3K. Our results suggest that Myc integrates Erk and PI3K signals to result in various cellular responses by differential stability control of Myc protein isoforms. Such signal integration confers a flexible dynamic range for the system output, governed by stability change. In addition, signal integration may require saturation of the input signals, leading to sensitive signal integration to the temporal features of the input signals, insensitive response to their amplitudes, and resistance to input fluctuations. We further propose that these characteristics of the protein stability control module in Myc may be commonly utilized in various cell types and classes of proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Computational Theory and Mathematics