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Effects of gene length on the dynamics of gene expression

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
15156 1383 2012 9 PDF Available
Title
Effects of gene length on the dynamics of gene expression
Abstract

In Escherichia coli, the nucleotide length of a gene is bound to affect its expression dynamics. From simulations of a stochastic model of gene expression at the nucleotide and codon levels we show that, within realistic parameter values, the nucleotide length affects RNA and protein mean levels, as well as the expected transient time for RNA and protein numbers to change, following a signal. Fluctuations in RNA and protein numbers are found to be minimized for a small range of lengths, which matches the means of the distributions of lengths found in E. coli of both essential and non-essential genes. The variance of the length distribution for essential genes is found to be smaller than for non-essential genes, implying that these distributions are far from random. Finally, gene lengths are shown to affect the kinetics of a genetic switch, namely, the correlation between temporal proteins numbers, the stability of the two noisy attractors of the switch, and how biased is the choice of noisy attractor. The stability increases with gene length due to increased ‘memory’ about the previous states of the switch. We argue that, by affecting the dynamics of gene expression and of genetic circuits, gene lengths are subject to selection.

Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slideHighlights► We simulate and study gene expression kinetics as a function of gene length. ► Fluctuations in protein numbers are minimized for a small range of lengths. ► This range covers the mode and mean of the distribution of gene lengths in E. coli. ► Gene length affects the stability of the kinetics of genetic switches. ► By affecting expression dynamics, gene lengths are likely to be subject to selection.

Keywords
Gene length; Gene expression dynamics; Stochastic; Genetic switch
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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Computational Biology and Chemistry - Volume 41, December 2012, Pages 1–9
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us