Experimental advances in the characterization of metazoan gene regulatory networks
Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) play a vital role in metazoan development and function, and deregulation of these networks is often implicated in disease. GRNs depict the dynamic interactions between genomic and regulatory state components. The genomic components comprise genes and their associated cis-regulatory elements. The regulatory state components consist primarily of transcriptional complexes that bind the latter elements. With the availability of complete genome sequences, several approaches have recently been developed which promise to significantly enhance our ability to identify either the genomic or regulatory state components, or the interactions between these two. In this review, I provide an in-depth overview of these approaches and detail how each contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of GRN composition and function.