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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Mar 13;104(11):4630-5. Epub 2007 Mar 7.

General transcription factor specified global gene regulation in archaea.

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Institute for Systems Biology, 1441 North 34th Street, Seattle, WA 98121, USA.


Cells responding to dramatic environmental changes or undergoing a developmental switch typically change the expression of numerous genes. In bacteria, sigma factors regulate much of this process, whereas in eukaryotes, four RNA polymerases and a multiplicity of generalized transcription factors (GTFs) are required. Here, by using a systems approach, we provide experimental evidence (including protein-coimmunoprecipitation, ChIP-Chip, GTF perturbation and knockout, and measurement of transcriptional changes in these genetically perturbed strains) for how archaea likely accomplish similar large-scale transcriptional segregation and modulation of physiological functions. We are able to associate GTFs to nearly half of all putative promoters and show evidence for at least 7 of the possible 42 functional GTF pairs. This report represents a significant contribution toward closing the gap in our understanding of gene regulation by GTFs for all three domains of life and provides an example for how to use various experimental techniques to rapidly learn significant portions of a global gene regulatory network of organisms for which little has been previously known.

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