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Cell. 2011 Mar 18;144(6):886-96. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.02.015.

Impulse control: temporal dynamics in gene transcription.

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  • 1Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


Regulatory circuits controlling gene expression constantly rewire to adapt to environmental stimuli, differentiation cues, and disease. We review our current understanding of the temporal dynamics of gene expression in eukaryotes and prokaryotes and the molecular mechanisms that shape them. We delineate several prototypical temporal patterns, including "impulse" (or single-pulse) patterns in response to transient environmental stimuli, sustained (or state-transitioning) patterns in response to developmental cues, and oscillating patterns. We focus on impulse responses and their higher-order temporal organization in regulons and cascades and describe how core protein circuits and cis-regulatory sequences in promoters integrate with chromatin architecture to generate these responses.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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