Central dogma rates and the trade-off between precision and economy [article]

Jean Hausser, Avi Mayo, Uri Alon
2018 bioRxiv   pre-print
Steady-state protein abundance is set by four rates: transcription, translation, mRNA decay and protein decay. A given protein abundance can be obtained from infinitely many combinations of these rates. This raises the question of whether the natural rates for each gene result from historical accidents, or are there rules that give certain combinations a selective advantage? We address this question using high-throughput measurements in rapidly growing cells from diverse organisms to find that
more » ... bout half of the rate combinations do not exist: genes that combine high transcription with low translation are strongly depleted. This depletion is due to a trade-off between precision and economy: high transcription decreases stochastic fluctuations but increases transcription costs. Our theory quantitatively explains which rate combinations are missing, and predicts the curvature of the fitness function for each gene. It may guide the design of gene circuits with desired expression levels and noise.
doi:10.1101/276139 fatcat:pww57m3yeber5lva5cljgcmpqy