Genomic reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in lactic acid bacteria
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Genome scale annotation of regulatory interactions and reconstruction of regulatory networks are the crucial problems in bacterial genomics. The Lactobacillales order of bacteria collates various microorganisms having a large economic impact, including both human and animal pathogens and strains used in the food industry. Nonetheless, no systematic genome-wide analysis of transcriptional regulation has been previously made for this taxonomic group. RESULTS: A comparative genomics approach was used for reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in 30 selected genomes of lactic acid bacteria. The inferred networks comprise regulons for 102 orthologous transcription factors (TFs), including 47 novel regulons for previously uncharacterized TFs. Numerous differences between regulatory networks of the Streptococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae groups were described on several levels. The two groups are characterized by substantially different sets of TFs encoded in their genomes. Content of the inferred regulons and structure of their cognate TF binding motifs differ for many orthologous TFs between the two groups. Multiple cases of non-orthologous displacements of TFs that control specific metabolic pathways were reported. CONCLUSIONS: The reconstructed regulatory networks substantially expand the existing knowledge of transcriptional regulation in lactic acid bacteria. In each of 30 studied genomes the obtained regulatory network contains on average 36 TFs and 250 target genes that are mostly involved in carbohydrate metabolism, stress response, metal homeostasis and amino acids biosynthesis. The inferred networks can be used for genetic experiments, functional annotations of genes, metabolic reconstruction and evolutionary analysis. All reconstructed regulons are captured within the Streptococcaceae and Lactobacillaceae collections in the RegPrecise database (http://regprecise.lbl.gov).
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ABSTRACT: DNA-binding transcription factors (TFs) are essential components of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria. LacI-family TFs (LacI-TFs) are broadly distributed among certain lineages of bacteria. The majority of characterized LacI-TFs sense sugar effectors and regulate carbohydrate utilization genes. The comparative genomics approaches enable in silico identification of TF-binding sites and regulon reconstruction. To study the function and evolution of LacI-TFs, we performed genomics-based reconstruction and comparative analysis of their regulons. For over 1300 LacI-TFs from over 270 bacterial genomes, we predicted their cognate DNA-binding motifs and identified target genes. Using the genome context and metabolic subsystem analyses of reconstructed regulons, we tentatively assigned functional roles and predicted candidate effectors for 78 and 67% of the analyzed LacI-TFs, respectively. Nearly 90% of the studied LacI-TFs are local regulators of sugar utilization pathways, whereas the remaining 125 global regulators control large and diverse sets of metabolic genes. The global LacI-TFs include the previously known regulators CcpA in Firmicutes, FruR in Enterobacteria, and PurR in Gammaproteobacteria, as well as the three novel regulators-GluR, GapR, and PckR-that are predicted to control the central carbohydrate metabolism in three lineages of Alphaproteobacteria. Phylogenetic analysis of regulators combined with the reconstructed regulons provides a model of evolutionary diversification of the LacI protein family. The obtained genomic collection of in silico reconstructed LacI-TF regulons in bacteria is available in the RegPrecise database (http://regprecise.lbl.gov). It provides a framework for future structural and functional classification of the LacI protein family and identification of molecular determinants of the DNA and ligand specificity. The inferred regulons can be also used for functional gene annotation and reconstruction of sugar catabolic networks in diverse bacterial lineages.Frontiers in Microbiology 06/2014; 5:294. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00294 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Biological pathways have played an important role in understanding cell activities and evolution. In order to find these pathways, it is neccessary to orient protein-protein interactions, which are usually given in forms of undirected networks or graphs. Previous findings indicate that orienting protein interactions can improve the process of pathway discovery. However, assigning orientation for protein interactions is a combinatorial optimization problem which has been proved to be NP-hard, making it critical to develop efficient algorithms.Data & Knowledge Engineering 04/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.datak.2015.04.002 · 1.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Elementary flux mode (EFM) is a useful tool in constraint-based modeling of metabolic networks. The property that every flux distribution can be decomposed as a weighted sum of EFMs allows certain applications of EFMs to studying flux distributions. The existence of biologically infeasible EFMs and the non-uniqueness of the decomposition, however, undermine the applicability of such methods. Efforts have been made to find biologically feasible EFMs by incorporating information from transcriptional regulation and thermodynamics. Yet no attempt has been made to distinguish biologically feasible EFMs by considering their graphical properties. A previous study on the transcriptional regulation of metabolic genes found that distinct branches at a branchpoint metabolite usually belong to distinct metabolic pathways. This suggests an intuitive property of biologically feasible EFMs - minimal branching.Bioinformatics 08/2014; 30(22). DOI:10.1093/bioinformatics/btu529 · 4.62 Impact Factor