Concentration fluctuations in growing and dividing cells: Insights into the emergence of concentration homeostasis

Chen Jia, Abhyudai Singh, Ramon Grima, Andrea Ciliberto (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Intracellular reaction rates depend on concentrations and hence their levels are often regulated. However classical models of stochastic gene expression lack a cell size description and cannot be used to predict noise in concentrations. Here, we construct a model of gene product dynamics that includes a description of cell growth, cell division, size-dependent gene expression, gene dosage compensation, and size control mechanisms that can vary with the cell cycle phase. We obtain expressions for the approximate distributions and power spectra of concentration fluctuations which lead to insight into the emergence of concentration homeostasis. We find that (i) the conditions necessary to suppress cell division-induced concentration oscillations are difficult to achieve; (ii) mRNA concentration and number distributions can have different number of modes; (iii) two-layer size control strategies such as sizer-timer or adder-timer are ideal because they maintain constant mean concentrations whilst minimising concentration noise; (iv) accurate concentration homeostasis requires a fine tuning of dosage compensation, replication timing, and size-dependent gene expression; (v) deviations from perfect concentration homeostasis show up as deviations of the concentration distribution from a gamma distribution. Some of these predictions are confirmed using data for E. coli, fission yeast, and budding yeast.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1010574
Number of pages34
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2022


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