Computer Science and Engineering, Department of



Qin Ma

Date of this Version



Genes 2018, 9, 278.



© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license


Regulons, which serve as co-regulated gene groups contributing to the transcriptional regulation of microbial genomes, have the potential to aid in understanding of underlying regulatory mechanisms. In this study, we designed a novel computational pipeline, regulon identification based on comparative genomics and transcriptomics analysis (RECTA), for regulon prediction related to the gene regulatory network under certain conditions. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this tool, we implemented RECTA on Lactococcus lactis MG1363 data to elucidate acid-response regulons. A total of 51 regulons were identified, 14 of which have computational-verified significance. Among these 14 regulons, five of them were computationally predicted to be connected with acid stress response. Validated by literature, 33 genes in Lactococcus lactis MG1363 were found to have orthologous genes which were associated with six regulons. An acid response related regulatory network was constructed, involving two trans-membrane proteins, eight regulons (llrA, llrC, hllA, ccpA, NHP6A, rcfB, regulons #8 and #39), nine functional modules, and 33 genes with orthologous genes known to be associated with acid stress. The predicted response pathways could serve as promising candidates for better acid tolerance engineering in Lactococcus lactis. Our RECTA pipeline provides an effective way to construct a reliable gene regulatory network through regulon elucidation, and has strong application power and can be effectively applied to other bacterial genomes where the elucidation of the transcriptional regulation network is needed.