Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 13, pp 2259–2269 | Cite as

Robustness of signal transduction pathways

  • Nils BlüthgenEmail author
  • Stefan Legewie


Signal transduction pathways transduce information about the outside of the cell to the nucleus, regulating gene expression and cell fate. To reliably inform the cell about its surroundings, information transfer has to be robust against typical perturbation that a cell experiences. Robustness of several mammalian signaling pathways has been studied recently by quantitative experimentation and using mathematical modeling. Here, we review these studies, and describe the emerging concepts of robustness and the underlying mechanisms.


Robustness Feedback Signal transduction Adaptation Sensitivity Heterogeneity MAPK BMP 



We thank our groups for discussions on robustness. NB acknowledges support for this work by DFG (SFB 618, project A3, and SPP 1395) and BMBF through the FORSYS-Partner programme. SL is supported by the BMBF (Virtual Liver Network; e: bio junior group programme).


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PathologyCharité Universitätsmedizin BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Theoretical BiologyHumboldt University BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Molecular BiologyMainzGermany

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