UMMS Affiliation

Program in Gene Function and Expression; Program in Molecular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Caenorhabditis elegans; Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins; DNA; DNA-Binding Proteins; Gene Expression Regulation; Genome; Mice; Nerve Tissue Proteins; Neurons; Open Reading Frames; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Promoter Regions (Genetics); Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Transcription Factors


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Transcription regulatory networks play a pivotal role in the development, function, and pathology of metazoan organisms. Such networks are comprised of protein-DNA interactions between transcription factors (TFs) and their target genes. An important question pertains to how the architecture of such networks relates to network functionality. Here, we show that a Caenorhabditis elegans core neuronal protein-DNA interaction network is organized into two TF modules. These modules contain TFs that bind to a relatively small number of target genes and are more systems specific than the TF hubs that connect the modules. Each module relates to different functional aspects of the network. One module contains TFs involved in reproduction and target genes that are expressed in neurons as well as in other tissues. The second module is enriched for paired homeodomain TFs and connects to target genes that are often exclusively neuronal. We find that paired homeodomain TFs are specifically expressed in C. elegans and mouse neurons, indicating that the neuronal function of paired homeodomains is evolutionarily conserved. Taken together, we show that a core neuronal C. elegans protein-DNA interaction network possesses TF modules that relate to different functional aspects of the complete network.

Y1H dataset can be found as a supplemental file to this paper. See Additional Files below.

DOI of Published Version



Genome Res. 2007 Jul;17(7):1061-71. Epub 2007 May 18. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Genome research

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Vermeirssen_et_al_GenRes2007.xls (39 kB)
Y1H dataset (XLS, 39 KB)



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