Cellular signaling networks are complex and appear to include many nonfunctional elements. Recently, it was suggested that nonfunctional interactions of proteins cause signaling noise, which, perhaps, shapes the signal transduction mechanism. However, the conditions under which molecular noise influences cellular information processing remain unclear. Here, we explore a large number of simple biological models of varying network sizes to understand the architectural conditions under which the interactions of signaling proteins can exhibit specific stochastic effects - called deviant effects - in which the average behavior of a biological system is substantially altered in the presence of molecular noise. We find that a small fraction of these networks does exhibit deviant effects and shares a common architectural feature whereas most of the networks show only insignificant levels of deviations. Interestingly, addition of seemingly unimportant interactions into protein networks gives rise to deviant effects.
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