CUED Publications database

Stochastic antagonism between two proteins governs a bacterial cell fate switch

Lord, ND and Norman, TM and Yuan, R and Bakshi, S and Losick, R and Paulsson, J (2019) Stochastic antagonism between two proteins governs a bacterial cell fate switch. Science, 366. pp. 116-120. ISSN 0036-8075

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Cell fate decision circuits must be variable enough for genetically identical cells to adopt a multitude of fates, yet ensure that these states are distinct, stably maintained, and coordinated with neighboring cells. A long-standing view is that this is achieved by regulatory networks involving self-stabilizing feedback loops that convert small differences into long-lived cell types. We combined regulatory mutants and in vivo reconstitution with theory for stochastic processes to show that the marquee features of a cell fate switch in Bacillus subtilis—discrete states, multigenerational inheritance, and timing of commitments—can instead be explained by simple stochastic competition between two constitutively produced proteins that form an inactive complex. Such antagonistic interactions are commonplace in cells and could provide powerful mechanisms for cell fate determination more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div F > Control
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2019 11:23
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 02:14
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw4506