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2001 | 48 | 1 | 209-220
Article title

On the relationship between fractal geometry of space and time in which a system of interacting cells exists and dynamics of gene expression.

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We report that both space and time, in which a system of interacting cells exists, possess fractal structure. Each single cell of the system can restore the hierarchical organization and dynamic features of the entire tumor. There is a relationship between dynamics of gene expression and connectivity (i.e., interconnectedness which denotes the existence of complex, dynamic relationships in a population of cells leading to the emergence of global features in the system that would never appear in a single cell existing out of the system). Fractal structure emerges owing to non-bijectivity of dynamic cellular network of genes and their regulatory elements. It disappears during tumor progression. This latter state is characterized by damped dynamics of gene expression, loss of connectivity, loss of collectivity (i.e., capability of the interconnected cells to interact in a common mode), and metastatic phenotype. Fractal structure of both space and time is necessary for a cellular system to self-organize. Our findings indicate that results of molecular studies on gene expression should be interpreted in terms of space-time geometry of the cellular system. In particular, the dynamics of gene expression in cancer cells existing in a malignant tumor is not identical with the dynamics of gene expression in the same cells cultured in the monolayer system.
Physical description
  • Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, U.S.A.
  • Department of Theoretical Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
  • Department of Theoretical Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
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