The complexity of biological control systems: An autophagy case study.
Autophagy and YAP1-WWTR1/TAZ signalling are tightly linked in a complex control system of forward and feedback pathways which determine different cellular outcomes in differing cell types at different time-points after perturbations. Here we extend our previous experimental and modelling approaches to consider two possibilities. First, we have performed additional mathematical modelling to explore how the autophagy-YAP1 crosstalk may be controlled by posttranslational modifications of components of the pathways. Second, since analogous contrasting results have also been reported for autophagy as a regulator of other transduction pathways engaged in tumorigenesis (Wnt/β-catenin, TGF-β/Smads, NF-kB or XIAP/cIAPs), we have considered if such discrepancies may be explicable through situations involving competing pathways and feedback loops in different cell types, analogous to the autophagy-YAP/TAZ situation. Since distinct posttranslational modifications dominate those pathways in distinct cells, these need to be understood to enable appropriate cell type-specific therapeutic strategies for cancers and other diseases.
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