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

Sep 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: Computational method dramatically speeds up estimates of gene expression

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers identify the source of 'noise' in HIV

Apr 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'

Feb 09, 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.

UCSF scientists find new facts about HIV

Dec 07, 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

Jan 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 develo ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...