Determining the Limitations and Benefits of Noise in Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction through Single Cell, Microscopy-Based Analysis

Marie D. Harton, Eric Batchelor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Stochastic fluctuations, termed “noise,” in the level of biological molecules can greatly impact cellular functions. While biological noise can sometimes be detrimental, recent studies have provided an increasing number of examples in which biological noise can be functionally beneficial. Rather than provide an exhaustive review of the growing literature in this field, in this review, we focus on single-cell studies based on quantitative microscopy that have generated a deeper understanding of the sources, characteristics, limitations, and benefits of biological noise. Specifically, we highlight studies showing how noise can help coordinate the expression of multiple downstream target genes, impact the channel capacity of signaling networks, and interact synergistically with oscillatory dynamics to enhance the sensitivity of signal processing. We conclude with a discussion of current challenges and future opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1154
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume429
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 21 2017
Externally publishedYes

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