Regulating the Regulators: Modulators of Transcription Factor Activity

TitleRegulating the Regulators: Modulators of Transcription Factor Activity
Publication TypeBook Chapters
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsEverett L, Hansen M, Hannenhalli S
EditorLadunga I
Book TitleComputational Biology of Transcription Factor BindingComputational Biology of Transcription Factor Binding
Series TitleMethods in Molecular Biology
Pagination297 - 312
PublisherHumana Press
ISBN Number978-1-60761-854-6

Gene transcription is largely regulated by DNA-binding transcription factors ( TFs ). However, the TF activity itself is modulated via, among other things, post-translational modifications ( PTMs ) by specific modification enzymes in response to cellular stimuli. TF-PTMs thus serve as “molecular switchboards” that map upstream signaling events to the downstream transcriptional events. An important long-term goal is to obtain a genome-wide map of “regulatory triplets” consisting of a TF, target gene, and a modulator gene that specifically modulates the regulation of the target gene by the TF. A variety of genome-wide data sets can be exploited by computational methods to obtain a rough map of regulatory triplets, which can guide directed experiments. However, a prerequisite to developing such computational tools is a systematic catalog of known instances of regulatory triplets. We first describe PTM-Switchboard, a recent database that stores triplets of genes such that the ability of one gene (the TF) to regulate a target gene is dependent on one or more PTMs catalyzed by a third gene, the modifying enzyme. We also review current computational approaches to infer regulatory triplets from genome-wide data sets and conclude with a discussion of potential future research. PTM-Switchboard is accessible at /