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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2015 Aug;34:180-8. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2015.02.001. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

How do regulatory networks evolve and expand throughout evolution?

Author information

1
CMPG Laboratory for Genetics and Genomics, KU Leuven, Gaston Geenslaan 1, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium; VIB Laboratory for Systems Biology, Gaston Geenslaan 1, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.
2
CMPG Laboratory for Genetics and Genomics, KU Leuven, Gaston Geenslaan 1, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium; VIB Laboratory for Systems Biology, Gaston Geenslaan 1, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: kevin.verstrepen@biw.vib-kuleuven.be.

Abstract

Throughout evolution, regulatory networks need to expand and adapt to accommodate novel genes and gene functions. However, the molecular details explaining how gene networks evolve remain largely unknown. Recent studies demonstrate that changes in transcription factors contribute to the evolution of regulatory networks. In particular, duplication of transcription factors followed by specific mutations in their DNA-binding or interaction domains propels the divergence and emergence of new networks. The innate promiscuity and modularity of regulatory networks contributes to their evolvability: duplicated promiscuous regulators and their target promoters can acquire mutations that lead to gradual increases in specificity, allowing neofunctionalization or subfunctionalization.

PMID:
25723843
DOI:
10.1016/j.copbio.2015.02.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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