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Article Dans Une Revue Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Année : 2021

Geometry of Gene Regulatory Dynamics


Embryonic development leads to the reproducible and ordered appearance of complexity from egg to adult. The successive differentiation of different cell types, that elaborates this complexity, result from the activity of gene networks and was likened by Waddington to a flow through a landscape in which valleys represent alternative fates. Geometric methods allow the formal representation of such landscapes and codify the types of behaviors that result from systems of differential equations. Results from Smale and coworkers imply that systems encompassing gene network models can be represented as potential gradients with a Riemann metric, justifying the Waddington metaphor. Here, we extend this representation to include parameter dependence and enumerate all 3-way cellular decisions realisable by tuning at most two parameters, which can be generalized to include spatial coordinates in a tissue. All diagrams of cell states vs model parameters are thereby enumerated. We unify a number of standard models for spatial pattern formation by expressing them in potential form. Turing systems appear non-potential yet in suitable variables the dynamics are low dimensional, potential, and a time independent embedding recovers the biological variables. Lateral inhibition is described by a saddle point with many unstable directions. A model for the patterning of the Drosophila eye appears as relaxation in a bistable potential. Geometric reasoning provides intuitive dynamic models for development that are well adapted to fit time-lapse data.
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hal-03450355 , version 1 (25-11-2021)



David A Rand, Archishman Raju, Meritxell Sáez, Francis Corson, Eric D Siggia. Geometry of Gene Regulatory Dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2021, 118 (38), pp.e2109729118. ⟨10.1073/pnas.2109729118⟩. ⟨hal-03450355⟩
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