On the power and limits of evolutionary conservation - Unraveling bacterial gene regulatory networks

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Abstract

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) recently announced '1000 prokaryotic genomes are now completed and available in the Genome database'. The increasing trend will provide us with thousands of sequenced microbial organisms over the next years. However, this is only the first step in understanding how cells survive, reproduce and adapt their behavior while being exposed to changing environmental conditions. One major control mechanism is transcriptional gene regulation. Here, striking is the direct juxtaposition of the handful of bacterial model organisms to the 1000 prokaryotic genomes. Next-generation sequencing technologies will further widen this gap drastically. However, several computational approaches have proven to be helpful. The main idea is to use the known transcriptional regulatory network of reference organisms as template in order to unravel evolutionarily conserved gene regulations in newly sequenced species. This transfer essentially depends on the reliable identification of several types of conserved DNA sequences. We decompose this problem into three computational processes, review the state of the art and illustrate future perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7877-7884
Number of pages8
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume38
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

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