The magnitude and colour of noise in genetic negative feedback systems

Margaritis Voliotis*, Clive G. Bowsher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The comparative ability of transcriptional and small RNA-mediated negative feedback to control fluctuations or 'noise' in gene expression remains unexplored. Both autoregulatory mechanisms usually suppress the average (mean) of the protein level and its variability across cells. The variance of the number of proteins per molecule of mean expression is also typically reduced compared with the unregulated system, but is almost never below the value of one. This relative variance often substantially exceeds a recently obtained, theoretical lower limit for biochemical feedback systems. Adding the transcriptional or small RNA-mediated control has different effects. Transcriptional autorepression robustly reduces both the relative variance and persistence (lifetime) of fluctuations. Both benefits combine to reduce noise in downstream gene expression. Autorepression via small RNA can achieve more extreme noise reduction and typically has less effect on the mean expression level. However, it is often more costly to implement and is more sensitive to rate parameters. Theoretical lower limits on the relative variance are known to decrease slowly as a measure of the cost per molecule of mean expression increases. However, the proportional increase in cost to achieve substantial noise suppression can be different away from the optimal frontier-for transcriptional autorepression, it is frequently negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7084-7095
Number of pages12
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume40
Issue number15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • ESCHERICHIA-COLI
  • REGULATORY NETWORKS
  • INTRINSIC NOISE
  • GLOBAL ANALYSIS
  • EXPRESSION
  • RNA
  • AUTOREGULATION
  • CIRCUITS
  • MOLECULE
  • MOTIFS

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