All Publications

  • Probing the theoretical and computational limits of dissipative design. The Journal of chemical physics Chennakesavalu, S., Rotskoff, G. M. 2021; 155 (19): 194114


    Self-assembly, the process by which interacting components form well-defined and often intricate structures, is typically thought of as a spontaneous process arising from equilibrium dynamics. When a system is driven by external nonequilibrium forces, states statistically inaccessible to the equilibrium dynamics can arise, a process sometimes termed direct self-assembly. However, if we fix a given target state and a set of external control variables, it is not well-understood (i) how to designa protocol to drive the system toward the desired state nor (ii) the cost of persistently perturbing the stationary distribution. In this work, we derive a bound that relates the proximity to the chosen target with the dissipation associated with the external drive, showing that high-dimensional external control can guide systems toward target distribution but with an inevitable cost. Remarkably, the bound holds arbitrarily far from equilibrium. Second, we investigate the performance of deep reinforcement learning algorithms and provide evidence for the realizability of complex protocols that stabilize otherwise inaccessible states of matter.

    View details for DOI 10.1063/5.0067695

    View details for PubMedID 34800948

  • Kinetic modeling reveals additional regulation at co-transcriptional level by post-transcriptional sRNA regulators CELL REPORTS Reyer, M. A., Chennakesavalu, S., Heideman, E. M., Ma, X., Bujnowska, M., Hong, L., Dinner, A. R., Vanderpool, C. K., Fei, J. 2021; 36 (13): 109764


    Small RNAs (sRNAs) are important gene regulators in bacteria. Many sRNAs act post-transcriptionally by affecting translation and degradation of the target mRNAs upon base-pairing interactions. Here we present a general approach combining imaging and mathematical modeling to determine kinetic parameters at different levels of sRNA-mediated gene regulation that contribute to overall regulation efficacy. Our data reveal that certain sRNAs previously characterized as post-transcriptional regulators can regulate some targets co-transcriptionally, leading to a revised model that sRNA-mediated regulation can occur early in an mRNA's lifetime, as soon as the sRNA binding site is transcribed. This co-transcriptional regulation is likely mediated by Rho-dependent termination when transcription-coupled translation is reduced upon sRNA binding. Our data also reveal several important kinetic steps that contribute to the differential regulation of mRNA targets by an sRNA. Particularly, binding of sRNA to the target mRNA may dictate the regulation hierarchy observed within an sRNA regulon.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109764

    View details for Web of Science ID 000704199700015

    View details for PubMedID 34592145