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Journal Article

Genetic noise mechanism for power-law switching in bacterial flagellar motors

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Krivonosov, M. I., Zaburdaev, V., Denisov, S. V., & Ivanchenko, M. V. (2018). Genetic noise mechanism for power-law switching in bacterial flagellar motors. Journal of Physics A - Mathematical and Theoretical, 51(26): 265601. doi:10.1088/1751-8121/aac543.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-F0D1-D
Switching of the direction of flagella rotations is the key control mechanism governing the chemotactic activity of E. coli and many other bacteria. Power-law distributions of switching times are most peculiar because their emergence cannot be deduced from simple thermodynamic arguments. Recently, it was suggested that by adding finite-time correlations into Gaussian fluctuations regulating the energy height of the barrier between the two rotation states, it is possible to generate switching statistics with an intermediate power-law asymptotics. By using a simple model of a regulatory pathway, we demonstrate that the required amount of correlated 'noise' can be produced by finite number fluctuations of reacting protein molecules, a condition common to the intracellular chemistry. The corresponding power-law exponent appears as a tunable characteristic controlled by parameters of the regulatory pathway network such as the equilibrium number of molecules, sensitivities, and the characteristic relaxation time.