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The developmental expression dynamics of Drosophila melanogaster transcription factors.

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Adryan, Boris 
Teichmann, Sarah A 


BACKGROUND: Site-specific transcription factors (TFs) are coordinators of developmental and physiological gene expression programs. Their binding to cis-regulatory modules of target genes mediates the precise cell- and context-specific activation and repression of genes. The expression of TFs should therefore reflect the core expression program of each cell. RESULTS: We studied the expression dynamics of about 750 TFs using the available genomics resources in Drosophila melanogaster. We find that 95% of these TFs are expressed at some point during embryonic development, with a peak roughly between 10 and 12 hours after egg laying, the core stages of organogenesis. We address the differential utilization of DNA-binding domains in different developmental programs systematically in a spatio-temporal context, and show that the zinc finger class of TFs is predominantly early expressed, while Homeobox TFs exhibit later expression in embryogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: Previous work, dissecting cis-regulatory modules during Drosophila development, suggests that TFs are deployed in groups acting in a cooperative manner. In contrast, we find that there is rapid exchange of co-expressed partners amongst the fly TFs, at rates similar to the genome-wide dynamics of co-expression clusters. This suggests there may also be a high level of combinatorial complexity of TFs at cis-regulatory modules.



Animals, Cluster Analysis, Drosophila Proteins, Drosophila melanogaster, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Genome, Transcription Factors

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Genome Biol

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC