Developmental mechanisms and cis-regulatory codes

Amanda Ochoa-Espinosa, Stephen Small

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Complex networks of transcriptional interactions control the processes of animal development. These networks begin with broad positional information that patterns the cells of the early embryo, and end with precise expression profiles that provide the functions of fully differentiated cells. At the heart of these networks are cis-regulatory modules (CRMs), which contain binding sites for regulatory proteins and control the spatial and temporal expression of genes within the network. Recent studies in several model systems have begun to decipher the 'cis-regulatory codes' of CRMs involved in various developmental processes. These studies suggest that CRMs involved in regulating co-expressed genes share sequence characteristics that can be identified by in silico approaches. They also suggest that CRMs involved in specific types of developmental events have common binding site architectures, which can be linked to their specific functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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