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Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 6;6:7551. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8551.

The GATA transcription factor GtaC regulates early developmental gene expression dynamics in Dictyostelium.

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1] Graduate Program in Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA [2] Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


In many systems, including the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, development is often marked by dynamic morphological and transcriptional changes orchestrated by key transcription factors. However, efforts to examine sequential genome-wide changes of gene regulation in developmental processes have been fairly limited. Here we report the developmental regulatory dynamics of GtaC, a GATA-type zinc-finger transcription factor, through the analyses of serial ChIP- and RNA-sequencing data. GtaC is essential for developmental progression, decoding extracellular cAMP pulses during early development and may play a role in mediating cell-type differentiation at later stages. We find that GtaC exhibits temporally distinctive DNA-binding patterns concordant with each developmental stage. We identify direct GtaC targets and observe cotemporaneous GtaC-binding and developmental expression regulation. Our results suggest that GtaC regulates multiple physiological processes as Dictyostelium transitions from a group of unicellular amoebae to an integrated multicellular organism.

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