Gene expression waves: Cell cycle independent collective dynamics in cultured cells

Masa Tsuchyia, Sum T. Wong, Zhen X. Yeo, Alfredo Colosimo, Maria C. Palumbo, Lorenzo Farina, Marco Crescenzi, Alessia Mazzola, Rodolfo Negri, Michele M. Bianchi, Kumar Selvarajoo, Masaru Tomita, Alessandro Giuliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The ergodic hypothesis, which assumes the independence of each cell of the ensemble from all the others, is a necessary prerequisite to attach single cell based explanations to the grand averages taken from population data. This was the prevailing view about the interpretation of cellular biology experiments that typically are performed on colonies of billions of cells. By analysing gene expression data of different cells going from yeast to mammalian cell cultures, we demonstrate that cell cultures display a sort of 'ecology-in-a-plate' giving rise to a rich dynamics of gene expression that are independent from reproductive cycles, hence contradicting simple ergodic assumptions The aspecific character of the observed coordinated gene expression activity inhibits any simple mechanistic hypothesis and highlights the need to consider population effects in the interpretation of data coming from cell cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2878-2886
Number of pages9
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jun


  • Cell-cell communication
  • Metabolic cycle
  • Microarray
  • Ribogenesis cycle
  • Systems biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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