Emergent Lévy Behavior In Single-cell Stochastic Gene Expression
Zhang, Michael Q.
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Single-cell gene expression is inherently stochastic; its emergent behavior can be defined in terms of the chemical master equation describing the evolution of the mRNA and protein copy numbers as the latter tends to infinity. We establish two types of "macroscopic limits": the Kurtz limit is consistent with the classical chemical kinetics, while the Lévy limit provides a theoretical foundation for an empirical equation proposed in N. Friedman et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 168302 (2006). Furthermore, we clarify the biochemical implications and ranges of applicability for various macroscopic limits and calculate a comprehensive analytic expression for the protein concentration distribution in autoregulatory gene networks. The relationship between our work and modern population genetics is discussed.
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