A matter of time — How transient transcription factor interactions create dynamic gene regulatory networks

Joseph Swift, Gloria M. Coruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Dynamic reprogramming of transcriptional networks enables cells to adapt to a changing environment. Thus, it is crucial not only to understand what gene targets are regulated by a transcription factor (TF) but also when. This review explores the way TFs function with respect to time, paying particular attention to discoveries made in plants - where coordinated, genome-wide responses to environmental change is crucial to the survival of these sessile organisms. We investigate the molecular mechanisms that mediate transient TF-DNA binding, and assess how these rapid and dynamic interactions translate to long-term temporal regulation of genomes. We also discuss how current molecular techniques can catch, and sometimes miss, transient TF-target interactions that underlie dynamic cellular responses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Gene Regulatory Mechanisms and Networks, edited by Dr. Erich Grotewold and Dr. Nathan Springer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Epigenetics
  • Plant genomics
  • Transcription dynamics
  • Transcription factor
  • Transient DNA binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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