Coupled oscillations and circadian rhythms in molecular replication networks

Nathaniel Wagner, Samaa Alasibi, Enrique Peacock-Lopez, Gonen Ashkenasy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Living organisms often display rhythmic and oscillatory behavior. We investigate here a challenge in contemporary Systems Chemistry, that is, to construct "bottom-up" molecular networks that display such complex behavior. We first describe oscillations during self-replication by applying kinetic parameters relevant to peptide replication in an open environment. Small networks of coupled oscillators are then constructed in silico, producing various functions such as logic gates, integrators, counters, triggers, and detectors. These networks are finally utilized to simulate the connectivity and network topology of the Kai proteins circadian clocks from the S. elongatus cyanobacteria, thus producing rhythms whose constant frequency is independent of the input intake rate and robust toward concentration fluctuations. We suggest that this study helps further reveal the underlying principles of biological clocks and may provide clues into their emergence in early molecular evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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