The volumes and transcript counts of single cells reveal concentration homeostasis and capture biological noise.
Bottom Line: We compared three cell clones that differ only in the genomic integration site of an identical constitutively expressed reporter gene.We found that the cell-to-cell variability in the mRNA concentration is almost exclusively due to cell-to-cell variation in gene expression activity, whereas the cell-to-cell variation in mRNA number is larger, due to a significant contribution of cell volume variability.We concluded that the precise relationship between transcript number and cell volume sets the biological stochasticity of living cells.
Affiliation: Synthetic Systems Biology and Nuclear Organization Group, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands.Show MeSH
Mentions: Figure 4B makes the same decomposition for the experimental data. It shows that the gene expression noise term accounts for ∼70% of the mRNA number noise and for greater than 95% of the mRNA concentration noise. This indicates that mRNA number noise has a large contribution that derives from the scaling of the number of transcripts per cell with the cell volume.
Affiliation: Synthetic Systems Biology and Nuclear Organization Group, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, 1098 XH Amsterdam, The Netherlands.