Dynamics of cooperativity in chemical sensing among cell-surface receptors Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Cooperative interactions among sensory receptors provide a general mechanism to increase the sensitivity of signal transduction. In particular, bacterial chemotaxis receptors interact cooperatively to produce an ultrasensitive response to chemoeffector concentrations. However, cooperativity between receptors in large macromolecular complexes is necessarily based on local interactions and consequently is fundamentally connected to slowing of receptor-conformational dynamics, which increases intrinsic noise. Therefore, it is not clear whether or under what conditions cooperativity actually increases the precision of the concentration measurement. We explicitly calculate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for sensing a concentration change using a simple, Ising-type model of receptor-receptor interactions, generalized via scaling arguments, and find that the optimal SNR is always achieved by independent receptors.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011