Feb 7, 2016

A Comparison of the Costs and Benefits of Bacterial Gene Expression

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Morgan N PriceAdam P Arkin

Abstract

To study how a bacterium allocates its resources, we compared the costs and benefits of most of the proteins in Escherichia coli K-12 during growth in minimal glucose medium. Proteins that are important for fitness are usually highly expressed, and 95% of these proteins are expressed at above 13 parts per million (ppm). Conversely, proteins that do not measurably benefit the host tend to be weakly expressed, with a median expression of 13 ppm. In aggregate, genes with no detectable benefit account for 31% of protein production, or about 22% if we correct for genetic redundancy. Although some of the apparently unnecessary expression could have subtle benefits in minimal glucose medium, the majority of the burden is due to genes that are important in other conditions. We propose that over 10% of the cell's protein is "on standby" in case conditions change.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Genes
Escherichia coli K12
Protein Function
Glucose
Escherichia coli
Protein Expression

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