In this series of reviews, we are examining ultrasensitive responses, the switch-like input-output relationships that contribute to signal processing in a wide variety of signaling contexts. In the first part of this series, we explored one mechanism for generating ultrasensitivity, zero-order ultrasensitivity, where the saturation of two converting enzymes allows the output to switch from low to high over a tight range of input levels. In this second installment, we focus on three conceptually distinct mechanisms for ultrasensitivity: multisite phosphorylation, stoichiometric inhibitors, and positive feedback. We also examine several related mechanisms and concepts, including cooperativity, reciprocal regulation, coherent feed-forward regulation, and substrate competition, and provide several examples of signaling processes where these mechanisms are known or are suspected to be applicable.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.