The volumes and transcript counts of single cells reveal concentration homeostasis and capture biological noise.
Bottom Line: Cell-to-cell variability is best captured in terms of concentration rather than molecule counts, because reaction rates depend on concentrations.We compared three cell clones that differ only in the genomic integration site of an identical constitutively expressed reporter gene.This study highlights the importance of the quantitative measurement of transcript concentrations in studies of cell-to-cell variability in biology.
Affiliation: Synthetic Systems Biology and Nuclear Organization Group, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Show MeSH
Mentions: To assess biological mRNA noise, we require, in addition to mRNA number per cell, the volume of each cell. The same confocal z-stack images used for smFISH were used to determine the whole-cell, cytoplasmic, and nuclear volumes of the cells by tracing the contours of these compartments (Figure 2A). This allows us to obtain mRNA number, volume, and concentration data for each cell.
Affiliation: Synthetic Systems Biology and Nuclear Organization Group, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands.