Delayed protein synthesis reduces the correlation between mRNA and protein fluctuations
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Recent experimental results indicate that, in single Escherichia coli cells, the fluctuations in mRNA level are uncorrelated with those of protein. However, a basic two-stage model for prokaryotic gene expression suggests that there ought to be a degree of correlation between the two. Therefore, it is important to investigate realistic modifications of the basic model that have the potential to reduce the theoretical level of the correlation. In this work, we focus on translational and reporter maturation delay, reporting that its introduction into the two-stage model reduces the cross correlation between instantaneous mRNA and protein levels. Our results indicate that the experimentally observed sample correlation coefficient between mRNA and protein levels may increase if the protein measurements are shifted back in time by the value of the delay.
P. Bokes and T. Gedeon, “Delayed protein synthesis reduces the correlation between mRNA and protein fluctuations”, Biophysical J. 103(3) (Aug 2012), pp 377-385. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2012.06.025