Paper describes new method to understand sources of noise in gene-expression

September 26, 2012 by Karen B. Roberts

(Phys.org)—Abhyudai Singh, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, describes a new method to understand sources of "noise" in gene-expression that create variability in protein levels in a paper published in Molecular Systems Biology, a publication of Nature, on Aug. 28. 

This noise is expressed as variability in the levels of proteins/mRNAs in a cell.

Understanding which biochemical processes contribute to this variability is an important problem, since protein variability plays important roles such as driving genetically identical cells to different cell fates and buffering from unpredictable and hostile changes in their environment.

The paper, entitled "Dynamics of Protein Noise Can Distinguish Between Alternate Sources of Gene-Expression Variability" develops a new method that uses changes in protein levels inside single cells to pinpoint the primary source of gene-expression noise. 

In collaboration with Prof. Leor Weinberger's group at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, San Francisco, Singh applied this method to the (HIV) system, where gene-expression noise can drive the into latency, a dormant drug-resistant state.

The results revealed that random bursts of mRNA production drive variability in the levels of key viral during human cell infection.

"We believe that understanding the source of viral gene-expression noise will have important implications in designing therapies for preventing HIV entering latency," Singh said.

Explore further: UCSF scientists find new facts about HIV

More information: www.nature.com/msb/journal/v8/n1/full/msb201238.html

Related Stories

UCSF scientists find new facts about HIV

December 7, 2005

University of California-San Francisco scientists have discovered how the human immunodeficiency virus can be kept dormant and hidden in immune cells.

Mutant host cell protein sequesters critical HIV-1 element

January 15, 2009

Scientists have identified a new way to inhibit a molecule that is critical for HIV pathogenesis. The research, published by Cell Press in the January 16th issue of the journal Molecular Cell, presents a target for development ...

Researchers identify the source of 'noise' in HIV

April 20, 2010

New research identifies a molecular mechanism that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) appears to utilize for generating random fluctuations called "noise" in its gene expression. The study, published by Cell Press in ...

Making use of cellular 'noise'

February 9, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- While some scientists find it messy that cells of the same type will respond differently to identical stimuli, Duke University bioengineers have turned this cellular noise to their advantage.

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Study shows female frogs susceptible to 'decoy effect'

August 28, 2015

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers has found that female túngaras, frogs that live in parts of Mexico and Central and South America, appear to be susceptible to the "decoy effect." In their paper published in the journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.