Topological units of environmental signal processing in the transcriptional regulatory network of Escherichia coli

G. Balázsi, A. L. Barabási, Z. N. Oltvai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent evidence indicates that potential interactions within metabolic, protein-protein interaction, and transcriptional regulatory networks are used differentially according to the environmental conditions in which a cell exists. However, the topological units underlying such differential utilization are not understood. Here we use the transcriptional regulatory network of Escherichia coli to identify such units, called origons, representing regulatory subnetworks that originate at a distinct class of sensor transcription factors. Using microarray data, we find that specific environmental signals affect mRNA expression levels significantly only within the origons responsible for their detection and processing. We also show that small regulatory interaction patterns, called subgraphs and motifs, occupy distinct positions in and between origons, offering insights into their dynamical role in information processing. The identified features are likely to represent a general framework for environmental signal processing in prokaryotes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7841-7846
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume102
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - May 31 2005

Keywords

  • Cellular networks
  • Regulation
  • Transcription

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