In biochemical signaling, information is often encoded in oscillatory signals. However, the advantages of such a coding strategy over an amplitude-encoding scheme of constant signals remain unclear. Here we study the dynamics of a simple model gene promoter in response to oscillating and constant transcription factor signals. We find that in biologically relevant parameter regimes an oscillating input can produce a more constant protein level than a constant input. Our results suggest that oscillating signals may be used to minimize noise in gene regulation.

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Phys. Rev. Lett.
Biochemical Networks

Tostevin, F., de Ronde, W. H., & ten Wolde, P. R. (2012). Reliability of frequency- and amplitude-decoding in gene regulation. Phys.Rev.Lett., 108(10, Article number: 108104), 1–5. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.108104