Analysis of Cell Size Homeostasis at the Single-Cell and Population Level

Published on Jun 26, 2018in Frontiers of Physics in China2.502
· DOI :10.3389/FPHY.2018.00064
Philipp Thomas22
Estimated H-index: 22
(Imperial College London)
Sources
Abstract
Growth pervades all areas of life from single cells to cell populations to tissues. However, cell size often fluctuates significantly from cell to cell and from generation to generation. Here we present a unified framework to predict the statistics of cell size variations within a lineage tree of a proliferating population. We analytically characterise (i) the distributions of cell size snapshots, (ii) the distribution within a population tree, and (iii) the distribution of lineages across the tree. Surprisingly, these size distributions differ significantly from observing single cells in isolation. In populations, cells seemingly grow to different sizes, typically exhibit less cell-to-cell variability and often display qualitatively different sensitivities to cell cycle noise and division errors. We demonstrate the key findings using recent single-cell data and elaborate on the implications for the ability of cells to maintain a narrow size distribution and the emergence of different power laws in these distributions.
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