Biophysical constraints on randomly expressed genes

Vol. 342 no. 6163 pp. 1188-1193
DOI: 10.1126/science.1242975


Genetic Determinants and Cellular Constraints in Noisy Gene Expression

Abstract excerpt (subscription required to read the article): “In individual cells, transcription is a random process obeying single-molecule kinetics. Often, it occurs in a bursty, intermittent manner. The frequency and size of these bursts affect the magnitude of temporal fluctuations in messenger RNA and protein content within a cell, creating variation or “noise” in gene expression.”

My comment to Science Magazine: “The mechanism by which one signaling pathway regulates a second provides insight into how cells integrate multiple stimuli to produce a coordinated response.” — See: Signaling Crosstalk: Integrating Nutrient Availability and Sex (2013). That mechanism is detailed in the context of thermodynamically-controlled nutrient-dependent seemingly futile cycles of protein biosynthesis/degradation and stochastic non-random gene expression, which enables organism-level thermoregulation.

I have found no reason to believe that this integration of thermodynamically controlled organism-level thermoregulation is not also required in E. coli. There is also experimental evidence of it in mammals. See: Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction (2005).

Across-species evidence of cause and effect is found in experiments that show the molecular mechanisms of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled amino acid substitutions are conserved. This brings up the following question.

Should the biophysical constraints of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and organism-level thermoregulation be given primary consideration in attempts to determine whether experimental evidence supports noisy gene expression?

Given experimental evidence of these biophysical constraints, is there any additional experimental evidence that suggests some remaining noise associated with single-molecule kinetics enables de novo creation of receptors that allow nutrients to enter cells where they can be metabolized and become novel blends of species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction?

I suspect there may be more evidence from physics that includes the role of single-molecule kinetics that should be included. Is that evidence perhaps buried in the laws of physics that attest to entropy? If so, is that evidence confounded by experimental evidence of biophysical constraints on controlled adaptations, which appear to lead to increased organismal complexity?

About James V. Kohl 1308 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society