Stochastic gene expression with delay
Martin Jansen, Peter Pfaffelhuber
(Submitted on 28 May 2013)
The expression of genes usually follows a two-step procedure. First, a gene (encoded in the genome) is transcribed resulting in a strand of (messenger) RNA. Afterwards, the RNA is translated into protein. Classically, this gene expression is modeled using a Markov jump process including activation and deactivation of the gene, transcription and translation rates together with degradation of RNA and protein. We extend this model by adding delays (with arbitrary distributions) to transcription and translation. Such delays can e.g.\ mean that RNA has to be transported to a different part of a cell before translation can be initiated. Already in the classical model, production of RNA and protein come in bursts by activation and deactivation of the gene, resulting in a large variance of the number of RNA and proteins in equilibrium. We derive precise formulas for this second-order structure with the model including delay in equilibrium. As a general fact, the delay decreases the variance of the number of RNA and proteins.