Background: Regulation of meiosis and sporulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model for a highly regulated developmental process. Meiosis middle phase transcriptional regulation is governed by two transcription factors: the activator Ndt80 and the repressor Sum1. It has been suggested that the competition between Ndt80 and Sum1 determines the temporal expression of their targets during middle meiosis.Results: Using a combination of ChIP-on-chip and expression profiling, we characterized a middle phase transcriptional network and studied the relationship between Ndt80 and Sum1 during middle and late meiosis. While finding a group of genes regulated by both factors in a feed forward loop regulatory motif, our data also revealed a large group of genes regulated solely by Ndt80. Measuring the expression of all Ndt80 target genes in various genetic backgrounds (WT, sum1Δ and MK-ER-Ndt80 strains), allowed us to dissect the exact transcriptional network regulating each gene, which was frequently different than the one inferred from the binding data alone.Conclusion: These results highlight the need to perform detailed genetic experiments to determine the relative contribution of interactions in transcriptional regulatory networks.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank T. Carlile and M. Lichten for assisting with the yeast strains and N. Barkai for the expression microarrays. We would like to thank the Bar-Joseph, Simon and Simchen labs for fruitful discussions. This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 634/06), the Binational Science Foundation and the Israel Cancer Research Foundation.