Rewiring of Genetic Networks in Response to DNA Damage

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Science  03 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6009, pp. 1385-1389
DOI: 10.1126/science.1195618

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DNA Damage Pathways Revealed

Despite the dynamic nature of cellular responses, the genetic networks that govern these responses have been mapped primarily as static snapshots. Bandyopadhyay et al. (p. 1385; see the Perspective by Friedman and Schuldiner) report a comparison of large genetic interactomes measured among all yeast kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors, as the cell responded to DNA damage. The interactomes revealed were highly dynamic structures that changed dramatically with changing conditions. These dynamic interactions reveal genetic relationships that can be more effective than classical “static” interactions (for example, synthetic lethals and epistasis maps) in identifying pathways of interest.


Although cellular behaviors are dynamic, the networks that govern these behaviors have been mapped primarily as static snapshots. Using an approach called differential epistasis mapping, we have discovered widespread changes in genetic interaction among yeast kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors as the cell responds to DNA damage. Differential interactions uncover many gene functions that go undetected in static conditions. They are very effective at identifying DNA repair pathways, highlighting new damage-dependent roles for the Slt2 kinase, Pph3 phosphatase, and histone variant Htz1. The data also reveal that protein complexes are generally stable in response to perturbation, but the functional relations between these complexes are substantially reorganized. Differential networks chart a new type of genetic landscape that is invaluable for mapping cellular responses to stimuli.

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