Ribosome Abundance Control in Prokaryotes

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC


Cell growth is an essential phenotype of any unicellular organism and it crucially depends on precise control of protein synthesis. We construct a model of the feedback mechanisms that regulate abundance of ribosomes in E. coli, a prototypical prokaryotic organism. Since ribosomes are needed to produce more ribosomes, the model includes a positive feedback loop central to the control of cell growth. Our analysis of the model shows that there can be only two coexisting equilibrium states across all 23 parameters. This precludes the existence of hysteresis, suggesting that the ribosome abundance changes continuously with parameters. These states are related by a transcritical bifurcation, and we provide an analytic formula for parameters that admit either state.


This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11538-023-01212-w


ribosome abundance control, mathematical model, prokaryotes


Shea, J., Davis, L., Quaye, B. et al. Ribosome Abundance Control in Prokaryotes. Bull Math Biol 85, 119 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11538-023-01212-w
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