The minimal intrinsic stochasticity of constitutively expressed eukaryotic genes is sub-Poissonian


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


American Association for the Advancement of Science


Gene expression inherently gives rise to stochastic variation (“noise”) in the production of gene products. Minimizing noise is crucial for ensuring reliable cellular functions. However, noise cannot be suppressed below a certain intrinsic limit. For constitutively expressed genes, this limit is typically assumed to be Poissonian noise, wherein the variance in mRNA numbers is equal to their mean. Here, we demonstrate that several cell division genes in fission yeast exhibit mRNA variances significantly below this limit. The reduced variance can be explained by a gene expression model incorporating multiple transcription and mRNA degradation steps. Notably, in this sub-Poissonian regime, distinct from Poissonian or super-Poissonian regimes, cytoplasmic noise is effectively suppressed through a higher mRNA export rate. Our findings redefine the lower limit of eukaryotic gene expression noise and uncover molecular requirements for achieving ultralow noise, which is expected to be important for vital cellular functions.