Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics of Gene Expression and Transcriptional Regulation

Enrique Hernández Lemus 1 , 2
  • 1 Department of Computational Genomics, National Institute of Genomic Medicine, Periférico Sur No. 4124, Torre Zafiro II, Piso 5, Col. Ex Rancho de Anzaldo, Álvaro Obregón 01900, México, D.F. México
  • 2 Center for the Sciences of Complexity, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Torre de Ingeniería, Piso 6, Circuito Escolar s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04510, México, D.F. México

Abstract

In recent times whole-genome gene expression analysis has turned out to be a highly important tool to study the coordinated function of a very large number of genes within their corresponding cellular environment, especially in relation to phenotypic diversity and disease. A wide variety of methods of quantitative analysis has been developed to cope with high throughput data sets generated by gene expression profiling experiments. Due to the complexity associated with transcriptomics, especially in the case of gene regulation phenomena, most of these methods are of a probabilistic or statistical nature. Even if these methods have reached a central status in the development of an integrative, systematic understanding of the associated biological processes, they very rarely constitute a concrete guide to the actual physicochemical mechanisms behind biological function, and the role of these methods is more on a hypotheses generating line. An important improvement could lie in the development of a thermodynamic theory for gene expression and transcriptional regulation that will build the foundations for a proper integration of the vast amount of molecular biophysical data and could lead, in the future, to a systemic view of genetic transcription and regulation.

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The Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics serves as an international publication organ for new ideas, insights and results on non-equilibrium phenomena in science, engineering and related natural systems. The central aim of the journal is to provide a bridge between science and engineering and to promote scientific exchange on non-equilibrium phenomena and on analytic or numeric modeling for their interpretation.

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