Genome-scale analysis of invivo spatiotemporal promoter activity in Caenorhabditis elegans


Differential regulation of gene expression is essential for cell fate specification in metazoans. Characterizing the transcriptional activity of gene promoters, in time and in space, is therefore a critical step toward understanding complex biological systems. Here we present an in vivo spatiotemporal analysis for ∼900 predicted C. elegans promoters (∼5% of the predicted protein-coding genes), each driving the expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP). Using a flow-cytometer adapted for nematode profiling, we generated 'chronograms', two-dimensional representations of fluorescence intensity along the body axis and throughout development from early larvae to adults. Automated comparison and clustering of the obtained in vivo expression patterns show that genes coexpressed in space and time tend to belong to common functional categories. Moreover, integration of this data set with C. elegans protein-protein interactome data sets enables prediction of anatomical and temporal interaction territories between protein partners.


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