Using cisTargetX to predict transcriptional targets and networks in Drosophila

Methods Mol Biol. 2012;786:291-314. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-292-2_18.


Gene expression regulation is a fundamental biological process leading to complete organism development by controlling processes like cell type specification and differentiation. The accuracy of this process is -governed by transcription factors (TFs) acting within a complex gene regulatory network. CisTargetX has been developed to enable a user to predict TFs, enhancers, and target genes involved in the regulation of co-expressed genes. It uses a strategy that incorporates the genome-wide prediction of clusters of transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs), starting from a large, unbiased collection of position weight matrices (PWMs) and uses comparative genomics criteria to filter potential TFBS. We describe in this chapter, step-by-step, how to use cisTargetX starting from a set of genes or TF(s) to predict transcriptional targets with their putative binding sites and networks in Drosophila. Next, we illustrate this approach on a particular developmental system, namely, sensory organ development, and identify relevant TFs, DNA regions regulating gene expression, and TF/target gene interactions. CisTargetX is available at .

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Computational Biology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics*
  • Nucleotide Motifs / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*