The Francis Crick Institute
basier-nurse-2024-tor-regulates-variability-of-protein-synthesis-rates (2).pdf (5.34 MB)

TOR regulates variability of protein synthesis rates.

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-18, 09:41 authored by Clovis Basier, Paul Nurse
Cellular processes are subject to inherent variability, but the extent to which cells can regulate this variability has received little investigation. Here, we explore the characteristics of the rate of cellular protein synthesis in single cells of the eukaryote fission yeast. Strikingly, this rate is highly variable despite protein synthesis being dependent on hundreds of reactions which might be expected to average out at the overall cellular level. The rate is variable over short time scales, and exhibits homoeostatic behaviour at the population level. Cells can regulate the level of variability through processes involving the TOR pathway, suggesting there is an optimal level of variability conferring a selective advantage. While this could be an example of bet-hedging, but we propose an alternative explanation: regulated 'loose' control of complex processes of overall cellular metabolism such as protein synthesis, may lead to this variability. This could ensure cells are fluid in control and agile in response to changing conditions, and may constitute a novel organisational principle of complex metabolic cellular systems.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2003, Grant title: Nurse CC2003)