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Cellular rhythms are generated by complex interactions among genes, proteins and metabolites. They are used to control every aspect of cell physiology, from signalling, motility and development to growth, division and death. We consider specific examples of oscillatory processes and discuss four general requirements for biochemical oscillations: negative feedback, time delay, sufficient 'nonlinearity' of the reaction kinetics and proper balancing of the timescales of opposing chemical reactions. Positive feedback is one mechanism to delay the negative-feedback signal. Biological oscillators can be classified according to the topology of the positive- and negative-feedback loops in the underlying regulatory mechanism.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nrm2530

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol

Publication Date

12/2008

Volume

9

Pages

981 - 991

Keywords

Animals, Biological Clocks, Circadian Rhythm, Feedback, Physiological, Kinetics, Models, Biological, Signal Transduction