In this paper (1) from 2001 the authors show that the mating pathway in budding yeast yields a graded transcriptional response to increasing concentrations of pheromone, and claim that:

To our knowledge, this is the first example in eukaryotes that extracellular signals can be propagated in a simple graded fashion.


Here's another paper (2) from 2005 showing the same thing, but with single-cell fluorescence microscopy instead of flow cytometry.

Given that these papers are around 20 years old, I assume other pathways with similar signaling dynamics have since been found, but I'm struggling with finding good examples.

Is anyone aware of other pathways where the dose-response relationship between an extracellular stimulus and a transcriptional response is graded, as opposed to bistable? The organism is irrelevant, as long as it's a eukaryote, it's a natural (i.e. not synthetic nor mutated) pathway and the results have been shown by some single-cell analysis technique.

  1. Poritz et al. (2001) PMID: 11571757
  2. Colman-Lerner et al. (2005) PMID: 16170311


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