Genetic and environmental perturbations often result in complex transcriptional responses involving multiple genes and regulons. In order to understand the nature of a response, one has to account for the contribution of the downstream effects to the formation of a response. Such analysis can be carried out within a statistical framework in which the individual effects are independently collected and then combined within a linear model. Here, we modeled the contribution of DNA replication, supercoiling, and repair to the transcriptional response of inhibition of the Escherichia coli gyrase. By representing the gyrase inhibition as a true pleiotropic phenomenon, we were able to demonstrate that: (1) DNA replication is required for the formation of spatial transcriptional domains; (2) the transcriptional response to the gyrase inhibition is coordinated between at least two modules involved in DNA maintenance, relaxation and damage response; (3) the genes whose transcriptional response to the gyrase inhibition does not depend on the main relaxation activity of the cell can be classified on the basis of a GC excess in their upstream and coding sequences; and (4) relaxation by topoisomerase I dominates the transcriptional response, followed by the effects of replication and RecA. We functionally tested the effect of the interaction between relaxation and repair activities, and found support for the model derived from the microarray data. We conclude that modeling compound transcriptional profiles as a combination of downstream transcriptional effects allows for a more realistic, accurate, and meaningful representation of the transcriptional activity of a genome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research