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Genome Biol. 2010;11(4):R40. doi: 10.1186/gb-2010-11-4-r40. Epub 2010 Apr 12.

The developmental expression dynamics of Drosophila melanogaster transcription factors.

Author information

  • 1Computational Biology Group, Structural Studies Division, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK. ba255@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Site-specific transcription factors (TFs) are coordinators of developmental and physiological gene expression programs. Their binding to cis-regulatory modules of target genes mediates the precise cell- and context-specific activation and repression of genes. The expression of TFs should therefore reflect the core expression program of each cell.

RESULTS:

We studied the expression dynamics of about 750 TFs using the available genomics resources in Drosophila melanogaster. We find that 95% of these TFs are expressed at some point during embryonic development, with a peak roughly between 10 and 12 hours after egg laying, the core stages of organogenesis. We address the differential utilization of DNA-binding domains in different developmental programs systematically in a spatio-temporal context, and show that the zinc finger class of TFs is predominantly early expressed, while Homeobox TFs exhibit later expression in embryogenesis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Previous work, dissecting cis-regulatory modules during Drosophila development, suggests that TFs are deployed in groups acting in a cooperative manner. In contrast, we find that there is rapid exchange of co-expressed partners amongst the fly TFs, at rates similar to the genome-wide dynamics of co-expression clusters. This suggests there may also be a high level of combinatorial complexity of TFs at cis-regulatory modules.

Comment in

PMID:
20384991
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2884543
Free PMC Article

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