Epigenetic and Conventional Regulation Is Distributed among Activators of FLO11 Allowing Tuning of Population-Level Heterogeneity in Its Expression
Author(s)Octavio, Leah M.; Gedeon, Kamil S.; Maheshri, Narendra
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Epigenetic switches encode their state information either locally, often via covalent modification of DNA or histones, or globally, usually in the level of a trans-regulatory factor. Here we examine how the regulation of cis-encoded epigenetic switches controls the extent of heterogeneity in gene expression, which is ultimately tied to phenotypic diversity in a population. We show that two copies of the FLO11 locus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae switch between a silenced and competent promoter state in a random and independent fashion, implying that the molecular event leading to the transition occurs locally at the promoter, in cis. We further quantify the effect of trans regulators both on the slow epigenetic transitions between a silenced and competent promoter state and on the fast promoter transitions associated with conventional regulation of FLO11. We find different classes of regulators affect epigenetic, conventional, or both forms of regulation. Distributing kinetic control of epigenetic silencing and conventional gene activation offers cells flexibility in shaping the distribution of gene expression and phenotype within a population.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Computational and Systems Biology Program; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemical Engineering
Public Library of Science
Octavio, Leah M. , Kamil Gedeon, and Narendra Maheshri. “Epigenetic and Conventional Regulation Is Distributed among Activators of FLO11 Allowing Tuning of Population-Level Heterogeneity in Its Expression.” PLoS Genet 5.10 (2009): e1000673.
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