Boolean modeling of transcriptome data reveals novel modes of heterotrimeric G-protein action

Sona Pandey, Rui Sheng Wang, Liza Wilson, Song Li, Zhixin Zhao, Timothy E. Gookin, Sarah M. Assmann, Réka Albert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Heterotrimeric G-proteins mediate crucial and diverse signaling pathways in eukaryotes. Here, we generate and analyze microarray data from guard cells and leaves of G-protein subunit mutants of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, with or without treatment with the stress hormone, abscisic acid. Although G-protein control of the transcriptome has received little attention to date in any system, transcriptome analysis allows us to search for potentially uncommon yet significant signaling mechanisms. We describe the theoretical Boolean mechanisms of G-protein × hormone regulation, and then apply a pattern matching approach to associate gene expression profiles with Boolean models. We find that (1) classical mechanisms of G-protein signaling are well represented. Conversely, some theoretical regulatory modes of the G-protein are not supported; (2) a new mechanism of G-protein signaling is revealed, in which GΒ regulates gene expression identically in the presence or absence of Gα; (3) guard cells and leaves favor different G-protein modes in transcriptome regulation, supporting system specificity of G-protein signaling. Our method holds significant promise for analyzing analogous switch-like signal transduction events in any organism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number372
JournalMolecular Systems Biology
StatePublished - 2010


  • Abscisic acid
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Boolean modeling
  • Heterotrimeric G-protein
  • Transcriptome


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