Attenuation of transcriptional bursting in mRNA transport

Li Ping Xiong*, Yu Qiang Ma, Lei Han TANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Because of the stochastic nature of biochemical processes, the copy number of any given type of molecule inside a living cell often exhibits large temporal fluctuations. Here, we develop analytic methods to investigate how the noise arising from a bursting input is reshaped by a transport reaction which is either linear or of the Michaelis-Menten type. A slow transport rate smoothes out fluctuations at the output end and minimizes the impact of bursting on the downstream cellular activities. In the context of gene expression in eukaryotic cells, our results indicate that transcriptional bursting can be substantially attenuated by the transport of mRNA from nucleus to cytoplasm. Saturation of the transport mediators or nuclear pores contributes further to the noise reduction. We suggest that the mRNA transport should be taken into account in the interpretation of relevant experimental data on transcriptional bursting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016005
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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