Revealing Functional Crosstalk between Distinct Bioprocesses through Reciprocal Functional Tests of Genetically Interacting Genes

Cell Rep. 2019 Nov 26;29(9):2646-2658.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.10.076.


To systematically explore the genes mediating functional crosstalk between metazoan biological processes, we apply comparative genetic interaction (GI) mapping in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans to generate an inter-bioprocess network consisting of 178 C. elegans GIs. The GI network spans six annotated biological processes including aging, intracellular transport, microtubule-based processes, cytokinesis, lipid metabolic processes, and anatomical structure development. By proposing a strategy called "reciprocal functional test" for interacting gene pairs, we discover a group of genes that mediate crosstalk between distinct biological processes. In particular, we identify the ribosomal S6 Kinase/RSKS-1, previously characterized as an mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) effector, as a regulator of DAF-2 endosomal recycling transport, which traces a functional correlation between endocytic recycling and aging processes. Together, our results provide an alternative and effective strategy for identifying genes and pathways that mediate crosstalk between bioprocesses with little prior knowledge.

Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; RAB-10/Rab10; RSKS-1/S6 Kinase; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; bioprocess crosstalk; comparative mapping; endocytic recycling; genetic interaction; mTOR; recycling endosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Humans


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins