The deterministic Hill function depends only on the average values of molecule numbers. To account for the fluctuations in the molecule numbers, the argument of the Hill function needs to contain the means, the standard deviations, and the correlations. Here we present a method that allows for stochastic Hill functions to be constructed from the dynamical evolution of stochastic biocircuits with specific topologies. These stochastic Hill functions are presented in a closed analytical form so that they can be easily incorporated in models for large genetic regulatory networks. Using a repressive biocircuit as an example, we show by Monte Carlo simulations that the traditional deterministic Hill function inaccurately predicts time of repression by an order of two magnitudes. However, the stochastic Hill function was able to capture the fluctuations and thus accurately predicted the time of repression.

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Copyright © 2018 American Physical Science. This article first appeared in Physical Review E 97, no. 2 (February 20, 2018): 022413:1-9. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.97.022413.

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