[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article summarizes our progress with RegulonDB (http://regulondb.ccg.unam.mx/) during the past 2 years. We have kept up-to-date the knowledge from the published literature regarding transcriptional regulation in Escherichia coli K-12. We have maintained and expanded our curation efforts to improve the breadth and quality of the encoded experimental knowledge, and we have implemented criteria for the quality of our computational predictions. Regulatory phrases now provide high-level descriptions of regulatory regions. We expanded the assignment of quality to various sources of evidence, particularly for knowledge generated through high-throughput (HT) technology. Based on our analysis of most relevant methods, we defined rules for determining the quality of evidence when multiple independent sources support an entry. With this latest release of RegulonDB, we present a new highly reliable larger collection of transcription start sites, a result of our experimental HT genome-wide efforts. These improvements, together with several novel enhancements (the tracks display, uploading format and curational guidelines), address the challenges of incorporating HT-generated knowledge into RegulonDB. Information on the evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements is also available now. Altogether, RegulonDB version 8.0 is a much better home for integrating knowledge on gene regulation from the sources of information currently available.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RegulonDB (http://regulondb.ccg.unam.mx/) is the primary reference database of the best-known regulatory network of any free-living organism, that of Escherichia coli K-12. The major conceptual change since 3 years ago is an expanded biological context so that transcriptional regulation is now part of a unit that initiates with the signal and continues with the signal transduction to the core of regulation, modifying expression of the affected target genes responsible for the response. We call these genetic sensory response units, or Gensor Units. We have initiated their high-level curation, with graphic maps and superreactions with links to other databases. Additional connectivity uses expandable submaps. RegulonDB has summaries for every transcription factor (TF) and TF-binding sites with internal symmetry. Several DNA-binding motifs and their sizes have been redefined and relocated. In addition to data from the literature, we have incorporated our own information on transcription start sites (TSSs) and transcriptional units (TUs), obtained by using high-throughput whole-genome sequencing technologies. A new portable drawing tool for genomic features is also now available, as well as new ways to download the data, including web services, files for several relational database manager systems and text files including BioPAX format.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biological Pathway Exchange (BioPAX) is a standard language to represent biological pathways at the molecular and cellular level and to facilitate the exchange of pathway data. The rapid growth of the volume of pathway data has spurred the development of databases and computational tools to aid interpretation; however, use of these data is hampered by the current fragmentation of pathway information across many databases with incompatible formats. BioPAX, which was created through a community process, solves this problem by making pathway data substantially easier to collect, index, interpret and share. BioPAX can represent metabolic and signaling pathways, molecular and genetic interactions and gene regulation networks. Using BioPAX, millions of interactions, organized into thousands of pathways, from many organisms are available from a growing number of databases. This large amount of pathway data in a computable form will support visualization, analysis and biological discovery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite almost 40 years of molecular genetics research in Escherichia coli a major fraction of its Transcription Start Sites (TSSs) are still unknown, limiting therefore our understanding of the regulatory circuits that control gene expression in this model organism. RegulonDB (http://regulondb.ccg.unam.mx/) is aimed at integrating the genetic regulatory network of E. coli K12 as an entirely bioinformatic project up till now. In this work, we extended its aims by generating experimental data at a genome scale on TSSs, promoters and regulatory regions. We implemented a modified 5' RACE protocol and an unbiased High Throughput Pyrosequencing Strategy (HTPS) that allowed us to map more than 1700 TSSs with high precision. From this collection, about 230 corresponded to previously reported TSSs, which helped us to benchmark both our methodologies and the accuracy of the previous mapping experiments. The other ca 1500 TSSs mapped belong to about 1000 different genes, many of them with no assigned function. We identified promoter sequences and type of sigma factors that control the expression of about 80% of these genes. As expected, the housekeeping sigma(70) was the most common type of promoter, followed by sigma(38). The majority of the putative TSSs were located between 20 to 40 nucleotides from the translational start site. Putative regulatory binding sites for transcription factors were detected upstream of many TSSs. For a few transcripts, riboswitches and small RNAs were found. Several genes also had additional TSSs within the coding region. Unexpectedly, the HTPS experiments revealed extensive antisense transcription, probably for regulatory functions. The new information in RegulonDB, now with more than 2400 experimentally determined TSSs, strengthens the accuracy of promoter prediction, operon structure, and regulatory networks and provides valuable new information that will facilitate the understanding from a global perspective the complex and intricate regulatory network that operates in E. coli.
PLoS ONE 10/2009; 4(10):e7526. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0007526 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RegulonDB (http://regulondb.ccg.unam.mx/) is the primary reference database offering curated knowledge of the transcriptional regulatory network of Escherichia coli K12, currently the best-known electronically encoded database of the genetic regulatory network of any free-living organism. This paper summarizes the improvements, new biology and new features available in version 6.0. Curation of original literature is, from now on, up to date for every new release. All the objects are supported by their corresponding evidences, now classified as strong or weak. Transcription factors are classified by origin of their effectors and by gene ontology class. We have now computational predictions for sigma(54) and five different promoter types of the sigma(70) family, as well as their corresponding -10 and -35 boxes. In addition to those curated from the literature, we added about 300 experimentally mapped promoters coming from our own high-throughput mapping efforts. RegulonDB v.6.0 now expands beyond transcription initiation, including RNA regulatory elements, specifically riboswitches, attenuators and small RNAs, with their known associated targets. The data can be accessed through overviews of correlations about gene regulation. RegulonDB associated original literature, together with more than 4000 curation notes, can now be searched with the Textpresso text mining engine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the complete 6,530,228-bp genome sequence of the symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacterium Rhizobium etli. Six large plasmids comprise one-third of the total genome size. The chromosome encodes most functions necessary for cell growth, whereas few essential genes or complete metabolic pathways are located in plasmids. Chromosomal synteny is disrupted by genes related to insertion sequences, phages, plasmids, and cell-surface components. Plasmids do not show synteny, and their orthologs are mostly shared by accessory replicons of species with multipartite genomes. Some nodulation genes are predicted to be functionally related with chromosomal loci encoding for the external envelope of the bacterium. Several pieces of evidence suggest an exogenous origin for the symbiotic plasmid (p42d) and p42a. Additional putative horizontal gene transfer events might have contributed to expand the adaptive repertoire of R. etli, because they include genes involved in small molecule metabolism, transport, and transcriptional regulation. Twenty-three putative sigma factors, numerous isozymes, and paralogous families attest to the metabolic redundancy and the genomic plasticity necessary to sustain the lifestyle of R. etli in symbiosis and in the soil.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2006; 103(10):3834-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0508502103 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RegulonDB is the internationally recognized reference database of Escherichia coli K-12 offering curated knowledge of the regulatory network and operon organization. It is currently the largest electronically-encoded database of the regulatory network of any free-living organism. We present here the recently launched RegulonDB version 5.0 radically different in content, interface design and capabilities. Continuous curation of original scientific literature provides the evidence behind every single object and feature. This knowledge is complemented with comprehensive computational predictions across the complete genome. Literature-based and predicted data are clearly distinguished in the database. Starting with this version, RegulonDB public releases are synchronized with those of EcoCyc since our curation supports both databases. The complex biology of regulation is simplified in a navigation scheme based on three major streams: genes, operons and regulons. Regulatory knowledge is directly available in every navigation step. Displays combine graphic and textual information and are organized allowing different levels of detail and biological context. This knowledge is the backbone of an integrated system for the graphic display of the network, graphic and tabular microarray comparisons with curated and predicted objects, as well as predictions across bacterial genomes, and predicted networks of functionally related gene products. Access RegulonDB at http://regulondb.ccg.unam.mx.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RegulonDB is the primary database of the major international maintained curation of original literature with experimental knowledge about the elements and interactions of the network of transcriptional regulation in Escherichia coli K-12. This includes mechanistic information about operon organization and their decomposition into transcription units (TUs), promoters and their sigma type, binding sites of specific transcriptional regulators (TRs), their organization into 'regulatory phrases', active and inactive conformations of TRs, as well as terminators and ribosome binding sites. The database is complemented with clearly marked computational predictions of TUs, promoters and binding sites of TRs. The current version has been expanded to include information beyond specific mechanisms aimed at gathering different growth conditions and the associated induced and/or repressed genes. RegulonDB is now linked with Swiss-Prot, with microarray databases, and with a suite of programs to analyze and visualize microarray experiments. We provide a summary of the biological knowledge contained in RegulonDB and describe the major changes in the design of the database. RegulonDB can be accessed on the web at the URL: http://www.cifn.unam.mx/Computational_Biology/regulondb/.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteria develop a number of devices for sensing, responding, and adapting to different environmental conditions. Understanding within a genomic perspective how the transcriptional machinery of bacteria is modulated, as a response for changing conditions, is a major challenge for biologists. Knowledge of which genes are turned on or turned off under specific conditions is essential for our understanding of cell behavior. In this study we describe how the information pertaining to gene expression and associated growth conditions (even with very little knowledge of the associated regulatory mechanisms) is gathered from the literature and incorporated into RegulonDB, a database on transcriptional regulation and operon organization in E. coli. The link between growth conditions, signal transduction, and transcriptional regulation is modeled in the database in a simple format that highlights biological relevant information. As far as we know, there is no other database that explicitly clarifies the effect of environmental conditions on gene transcription. We discuss how this knowledge constitutes a benchmark that will impact future research aimed at integration of regulatory responses in the cell; for instance, analysis of microarrays, predicting culture behavior in biotechnological processes, and comprehension of dynamics of regulatory networks. This integrated knowledge will contribute to the future goal of modeling the behavior of E. coli as an entire cell. The RegulonDB database can be accessed on the web at the URL: http://www.cifn.unam.mx/Computational_Biology/regulondb/.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering 01/2004; 84(7):743-9. DOI:10.1002/bit.10846 · 4.13 Impact Factor