The activity of individual genes and signaling components is highly variable between cells. This variability underlies differing responsiveness of equivalent cells to extracellular triggers in development and disease. It is unclear how this variability evolves. Are distinct signaling and gene expression states defined by long timescales? Or do the activities fluctuate rapidly, and if so, how do fluctuations of signals and their downstream target genes relate to each other? To address these questions, we will used advanced microscopy techniques on living cells to monitor the activity of specific signaling proteins combined with direct measurements of transcriptional dynamics of single target genes.
1.Molecular Cell 52: 529-40