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Proceedings Paper

Plasmids as stochastic model systems
Author(s): Johan Paulsson
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Paper Abstract

Plasmids are self-replicating gene clusters present in on average 2-100 copies per bacterial cell. To reduce random fluctuations and thereby avoid extinction, they ubiquitously autoregulate their own synthesis using negative feedback loops. Here I use van Kampen's Ω-expansion for a two-dimensional model of negative feedback including plasmids and ther replication inhibitors. This analytically summarizes the standard perspective on replication control -- including the effects of sensitivity amplification, exponential time-delays and noisy signaling. I further review the two most common molecular sensitivity mechanisms: multistep control and cooperativity. Finally, I discuss more controversial sensitivity schemes, such as noise-enhanced sensitivity, the exploitation of small-number combinatorics and double-layered feedback loops to suppress noise in disordered environments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 April 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5110, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems, (30 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.500143
Show Author Affiliations
Johan Paulsson, Princeton Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5110:
Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems
Sergey M. Bezrukov; Hans Frauenfelder; Frank Moss, Editor(s)

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