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Promoter architecture and the evolvability of gene expression

Itay Tirosh1*, Naama Barkai1 and Kevin J Verstrepen23

Author affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel

2 VIB Laboratory for Systems Biology, Gaston Geenslaan 1, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium

3 Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, CMPG-G&G, K.U. Leuven, Gaston Geenslaan 1, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium

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Citation and License

Journal of Biology 2009, 8:95  doi:10.1186/jbiol204

Published: 14 December 2009


Evolutionary changes in gene expression are a main driver of phenotypic evolution. In yeast, genes that have rapidly diverged in expression are associated with particular promoter features, including the presence of a TATA box, a nucleosome-covered promoter and unstable tracts of tandem repeats. Here, we discuss how these promoter properties may confer an inherent capacity for flexibility of expression.