Papers for Journal Club
These two reviews would serve as a good starting point for delving deeper into the concepts and details of stochasticity and cell fate in bacteria and higher organisms.
- Dubnau D and Losick R (2006) Bistability in bacteria. Mol Microbiol 61: 564-572.
- Losick R and Desplan C (2008) Stochasticity and cell fate. Science 320: 65-68.
These three primary research papers, all of which are based on work in the Losick lab, describe the role of stochasticity in B. subtilis motility vs. chaining, cannibalism, and biofilms. These are the studies upon which the corresponding sections of the lecture were based, but will provide more detail and depth as to the experimental evidence for these stochastic cell fate decisions.
- Kearns DB and Losick R (2005) Cell population heterogeneity during growth of Bacillus subtilis. Genes Dev 19: 3083-3094.
- González-Pastor JE, Hobbs EC, and Losick R (2003) Cannibalism by sporulating bacteria. Science 301: 510-3.
- Chai Y, Chu F, Kolter R, and Losick R (2008) Bistability and biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis. Mol Microbiol 67: 254-263.
Development of competence by B. subtilis is arguably one of the best-understood examples of the role of noise, stochasticity, and bistability in cell fate determination. The following papers represent some of the critical work that has formed our current knowledge of this system. In the third and most recent paper, the authors actually observe noise at the level of single mRNA molecules, and based on their results, are able to draw conclusions on the source of noise in the competence system.
- Smits WK, Eschevins CC, Susanna KA, Bron S, Kuipers OP, and Hamoen LW (2005) Stripping Bacillus: ComK auto-stimulation is responsible for the bistable response in competence development. Mol Microbiol 56: 604-614.
- Maamar H and Dubnau D (2005) Bistability in the Bacillus subtilis K-state (competence) system requires a positive feedback loop. Mol Microbiol 56: 615-624.
- Maamar H, Raj A, and Dubnau D (2007) Noise in gene expression determines cell fate in Bacillus subtilis. Science 317: 526-529.
These final 3 papers describe research into examples of stochastic cell fate decisions in other bacteria and in complex metazoans, including the example of green vs. blue rhodopsin expression in the fly eye briefly described in the lecture.
Escherichia coli perisister cells:
- Balaban NQ, Merrin J, Chait R, Kowalik L, and Liebler S (2004) Bacterial persistence as a phenotypic switch. Science 35: 1622-1625.
- Keren I, Shah , Spoering A, Kaldalu N, and Lewis K (2004) Specialized persister cells and the mechanism of multidrug tolerance in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol 186: 8172-8180.
Stochasticity and the fly eye:
- Wernet MF, Mazzoni EO, Celik A, Duncan DM, Duncan I, and Desplan C (2006) Stochastic spineless expression creates the retinal mosaic for colour vision. Nature 440: 174-180.
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