DNA looping and bistability of the lac genetic switch

1/10/2014 Tyler M Earnest, Elijah Roberts, Michael Assaf, Karin Dahmen and Zaida Luthey-Schulten

We develop a model of the lac genetic switch that describes the switching and coexistence of phenotypes as a function of extracellular lactose concentration. We present a first stochastic treatment of a gene–mRNA–protein model of the lac operon in E. coli interacting with extracellular inducer that includes transitions to looped DNA states. This highly interdisciplinary project, involving 2 post-docs and one graduate student, uses tools from physics and new mathematical tools to explain statistical aspects of stochastic gene expression.

This article can be viewed at Physical Biology. 2013, Volume 10, Number 2, Pages: 026002