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Comput Biol Chem. 2012 Apr;37:11-6. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiolchem.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Evolving kinetics of gene expression in stochastic environments.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biosystem Dynamics, Computational Systems Biology Research Group, Department of Signal Processing, Tampere University of Technology, Finland. antti.hakkinen@tut.fi

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that the in vivo dynamics of RNA numbers in bacteria is regulated, to a great extent, by the kinetics of rate limiting steps in transcription. Strong evidence suggests that the kinetics of these steps is sequence dependent. We investigate the selective advantages of rate limiting steps of differing kinetics. For that, we model the kinetics of expression of a gene responsible for promoting cell division at the expense of resources in the environment in individual cells of a population. We model mutations that affect the kinetics of the rate limiting steps and selective pressure in various environmental conditions. Depletion of resources leads to cell death. We find that small changes in the evolutionary constraints can favor widely different noise levels in RNA and protein numbers. Increasing the cost in nutrients for division favors noisier expression. The results provide a better understanding of why different genes differ in the kinetics of production of RNA and proteins.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22410387
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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