A multiparameter network reveals extensive divergence between C. elegans bHLH transcription factors.
IF: 66.850
Cited by: 208


Differences in expression, protein interactions, and DNA binding of paralogous transcription factors ("TF parameters") are thought to be important determinants of regulatory and biological specificity. However, both the extent of TF divergence and the relative contribution of individual TF parameters remain undetermined. We comprehensively identify dimerization partners, spatiotemporal expression patterns, and DNA-binding specificities for the C. elegans bHLH family of TFs, and model these data into an integrated network. This network displays both specificity and promiscuity, as some bHLH proteins, DNA sequences, and tissues are highly connected, whereas others are not. By comparing all bHLH TFs, we find extensive divergence and that all three parameters contribute equally to bHLH divergence. Our approach provides a framework for examining divergence for other protein families in C. elegans and in other complex multicellular organisms, including humans. Cross-species comparisons of integrated networks may provide further insights into molecular features underlying protein family evolution. For a video summary of this article, see the PaperFlick file available with the online Supplemental Data.


Temporal Gene Expression

MeSH terms

Animals, Genetically Modified
Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
Caenorhabditis elegans
Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
Gene Regulatory Networks
Molecular Sequence Data
Promoter Regions, Genetic
Protein Multimerization


Grove, Christian A
De Masi, Federico
Barrasa, M Inmaculada
Newburger, Daniel E
Alkema, Mark J
Bulyk, Martha L
Walhout, Albertha J M

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