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Section: New Results

Stochastic gene expression with a multistate promoter: breaking down exact distributions

We consider in [19] a stochastic model of gene expression in which transcription depends on a multistate promoter, including the famous two-state model and refractory promoters as special cases, and focus on deriving the exact stationary distribution. Building upon several successful approaches, we present a more unified viewpoint that enables us to simplify and generalize existing results. In particular, the original jump process is deeply related to a multivariate piecewise-deterministic Markov process that may also be of interest beyond the biological field. In a very particular case of promoter configuration, this underlying process is shown to have a simple Dirichlet stationary distribution. In the general case, the corresponding marginal distributions extend the well-known class of Beta products, involving complex parameters that directly relate to spectral properties of the promoter transition matrix. Finally, we illustrate these results with biologically plausible examples.