Bistability requires better balanced toggle switches in the presence of competition for shared cellular resources

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Synthetic biology seeks to create complex systems in living organisms modularly. Unfortunately, modularity is hindered by several factors. One major factor limiting the scalability of rationally engineered large-scale genetic circuits is unwanted coupling among modules due to competition for shared cellular resources. Leveraging a mechanistic model explicitly accounting for the limited availability of these resources, in this paper we reveal how competition for shared resources affects the stability profile of the toggle switch, one of the most widespread genetic modules. As a result, we uncover the connection between parameter asymmetry, resource sequestration and bistability, not only in the case of a single toggle switch, but also when multiple modules all share the same pool of resources. To demonstrate the relevance of our results, we illustrate when and why the collective behavior of bistable toggle switches becomes monostable, and reveal how the interplay between parameter asymmetry and resource sequestration contributes to the emergence of this surprising phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538679265
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Event2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Jul 10 2019Jul 12 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2019 American Control Conference, ACC 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Bistability requires better balanced toggle switches in the presence of competition for shared cellular resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this