Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) provide system level explanations of developmental and physiological functions in the terms of the genomic regulatory code. Depending on their developmental functions, GRNs differ in their degree of hierarchy, and also in the types of modular sub-circuit of which they are composed, although there is a commonly employed sub-circuit repertoire. Mathematical modelling of some types of GRN sub-circuit has deepened biological understanding of the functions they mediate. The structural organization of various kinds of GRN reflects their roles in the life process, and causally illuminates both developmental and evolutionary process.
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I am grateful for the reviews of the manuscript by E. V. Rothenberg and I. S. Peter. This work was supported by NIH grants HD-37105 and GM-61005 and by the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust.
The author declares no competing financial interests.
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Davidson, E. Emerging properties of animal gene regulatory networks. Nature 468, 911–920 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature09645
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