Summing up the noise in gene networks

Nature. 2004 Jan 29;427(6973):415-8. doi: 10.1038/nature02257.


Random fluctuations in genetic networks are inevitable as chemical reactions are probabilistic and many genes, RNAs and proteins are present in low numbers per cell. Such 'noise' affects all life processes and has recently been measured using green fluorescent protein (GFP). Two studies show that negative feedback suppresses noise, and three others identify the sources of noise in gene expression. Here I critically analyse these studies and present a simple equation that unifies and extends both the mathematical and biological perspectives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes / genetics
  • DNA Replication
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Probability
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Research Design
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Transcription, Genetic