DOI: 10.1101/464297Nov 6, 2018Paper

Noise induced bimodality in genetic circuits with monostable positive feedback

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Pavol Bokes, Abhyudai Singh


The expression of individual genes can be maintained through positive feedback loop mechanisms. If genes are expressed in bursts, then feedback either affects the frequency with which bursts occur or their size. Here we use a tractable hybrid modelling framework to evaluate how noncooperative positive feedback in burst frequency or burst size impacts the protein-level distribution. We confirm the results of previous studies that noncooperative positive feedback in burst frequency can support bimodal distributions. Intriguingly, bimodal distributions are unavailable in the case of feedback in burst size in the hybrid framework. However, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of a full discrete model show that bimodality can reappear due to low-copy number effects. The two types of feedbacks lead to dramatically different values of protein mean and noise. We show that small values of leakage imply a small protein mean for feedback in burst frequency but not necessarily for feedback in burst size. We also show that protein noise decreases in response to gene activation if feedback is in burst frequency but there is a transient noise amplification if feedback acts on burst size. Our results suggest that feedback in burst size and feedback...Continue Reading

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