Nature Communications 13(1) , 3502 ( 2022)
Transcriptional regulation is a critical process to ensure expression of genes necessary for growth and survival in diverse environments. Transcription is mediated by multiple transcription factors including activators, repressors and sigma factors. Accurate computational prediction of the regulon of target genes for transcription factors is difficult and experimental identification is laborious and not scalable. Here, we demonstrate regulon identification by in vitro transcription-sequencing (RIViT-seq) that enables systematic identification of regulons of transcription factors by combining an in vitro transcription assay and RNA-sequencing. Using this technology, target genes of 11 sigma factors were identified in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). The RIViT-seq data expands the transcriptional regulatory network in this bacterium, discovering regulatory cascades and crosstalk between sigma factors. Implementation of RIViT-seq with other transcription factors and in other organisms will improve our understanding of transcriptional regulatory networks across biology.