Thomas Höfer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Malte J. Rasch (email@example.com)
We analyse a stochastic model of transcription that describes transcription initiation by promoter activation and subsequent polymerase recruitment. Explicit expressions are derived for the control of an activator on the mean mRNA number and for the mRNA noise. Both properties are strongly influenced by the kinetics of promoter activation, mRNA synthesis and degradation. Low transcriptional noise is obtained either when the transcription initiation complex has a long life-time or when its components associate and dissociate rapidly. However, the ability of an activator to regulate the mRNA level is low in the first and high in the second case. Large noise is generated when the initial activation step of the promoter is slow. In this case, transcription can be burst-like; the mRNA distribution becomes bimodal while regulability of the mean copy number is maintained.