Epigenetic Regulation of the Mammalian Cell
Illustration of a state space.
The figure illustrates a very simplified state space for a two dimension system, the coordinates indicating the activities of gene products x and y. The potential attractors are represented by circles, the diameters of which are proportional to their basins of attraction, the home attractor H being the largest because of environmental conditioning. A perturbation P of H beyond the basin of attraction due to an increase in gene product y causes the adoption of variant attractor V1. This is the initiation step of genomic instability. Subsequently, due to the relatively reduced robustness of variant, i.e., unconditioned, attractors, further transitions (dotted lines) to other variant attractors characterises the genomic instability phenotype.