center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


Design principles from the top down

July 9, 2012

In new work published in Molecular Cell, Center investigators Nevan Krogan, Chao Tang and colleagues constructed genome-scale genetic interaction maps for the fission yeast S. pombe.

They identified 297 functional modules and assigned functions to 144 previously uncharacterized genes. When compared to the genetic interactomes of the evolutionary distant budding yeast S. cerevisiae, conserved features were identified in both networks, suggesting the existence of general design principles within genetic interactomes. This work leads to a heirarchical model for the evolution of genetic interactions, with genetic interactions within protein complexes exhibiting high conservation, while interactions between genes involved in distinct biological processes are poorly conserved.