Robustness, dissipations and coherence of the oscillation of circadian clock: potential landscape and flux perspectives

PMC Biophys. 2008 Dec 30;1(1):7. doi: 10.1186/1757-5036-1-7.


Finding the global probabilistic nature of a non-equilibrium circadian clock is essential for addressing important issues of robustness and function. We have uncovered the underlying potential energy landscape of a simple cyanobacteria biochemical network, and the corresponding flux which is the driving force for the oscillation. We found that the underlying potential landscape for the oscillation in the presence of small statistical fluctuations is like an explicit ring valley or doughnut shape in the three dimensional protein concentration space. We found that the barrier height separating the oscillation ring and other area is a quantitative measure of the oscillation robustness and decreases when the fluctuations increase. We also found that the entropy production rate characterizing the dissipation or heat loss decreases as the fluctuations decrease. In addition, we found that, as the fluctuations increase, the period and the amplitude of the oscillations is more dispersed, and the phase coherence decreases. We also found that the properties from exploring the effects of the inherent chemical rate parameters on the robustness. Our approach is quite general and can be applied to other oscillatory cellular network.PACS Codes: 87.18.-h, 87.18.Vf, 87.18.Yt.