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OMICS. 2007 Summer;11(2):166-85.

A network of genes regulated by light in cyanobacteria.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63104, USA.


Oxygenic photosynthetic organisms require light for their growth and development. However, exposure to high light is detrimental to them. Using time series microarray data from a model cyanobacterium, Synechocystis 6803 transferred from low to high light, we generated a gene co-expression network. The network has twelve sub-networks connected hierarchically, each consisting of an interconnected hub-and-spoke architecture. Within each sub-network, edges formed between genes that recapitulate known pathways. Analysis of the expression profiles shows that the cells undergo a phase transition 6-hours post-shift to high light, characterized by core sub-network. The core sub-network is enriched in proteins that (putatively) bind Fe-S clusters and proteins that mediate iron and sulfate homeostasis. At the center of this core is a sulfate permease, suggesting sulfate is rate limiting for cells grown in high light. To validate this novel finding, we demonstrate the limited ability of cell growth in sulfate-depleted medium in high light. This study highlights how understanding the organization of the networks can provide insights into the coordination of physiologic responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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