Quantitative modelling of transcription factor binding sites


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Quantitative modelling of transcription factor binding sites
Jagannathan V.
Bucher P.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
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REROID:R004541612 ill.
One of the most important issues in molecular biology is to understand regulatory mechanisms that control gene expression. Gene expression is often regulated by proteins, called transcription factors which bind to short (5 to 20 base pairs),degenerate segments of DNA. Experimental efforts towards understanding the sequence specificity of transcription factors is laborious and expensive, but can be substantially accelerated with the use of computational predictions. This thesis describes the use of algorithms and resources for transcriptionfactor binding site analysis in addressing quantitative modelling, where probabilitic models are built to represent binding properties of a transcription factor and can be used to find new functional binding sites in genomes.
Initially, an open-access database(HTPSELEX) was created, holding high
quality binding sequences for two eukaryotic families of transcription factors namely CTF/NF1 and LEFT/TCF. The binding sequences were elucidated using a recently described experimental procedure called HTP-SELEX, that allows generation of large number (> 1000) of binding sites using mass sequencing technology. For each HTP-SELEX experiments we also provide accurate primary experimental information about the protein material used, details of the wet lab protocol, an archive of sequencing trace files, and assembled clone sequences of binding sequences. The database also offers reasonably large SELEX libraries obtained with conventional low-throughput protocols.The database is available at http://wwwisrec.isb-sib.ch/htpselex/ and
and ftp://ftp.isrec.isb-sib.ch/pub/databases/htpselex.
The Expectation-Maximisation(EM) algorithm is one the frequently used methods to estimate probabilistic models to represent the sequence specificity of transcription factors. We present computer simulations in order to estimate the precision of EM estimated models as a function of data set parameters(like length of initial sequences, number of initial sequences, percentage of nonbinding sequences). We observed a remarkable robustness of the EM algorithm with regard to length of training sequences and the degree of contamination.
The HTPSELEX database and the benchmarked results of the EM algorithm formed part of the foundation for the subsequent project, where a statistical framework called hidden Markov model has been developed to represent sequence specificity of the transcription factors CTF/NF1 and LEF1/TCF using the HTP-SELEX experiment data. The hidden Markov model framework is capable of both predicting and classifying CTF/NF1 and LEF1/TCF binding sites. A covariance analysis of the binding sites revealed non-independent base preferences at different nucleotide positions, providing insight into the binding mechanism. We next tested the LEF1/TCF model by computing binding scores for a set of LEF1/TCF binding sequences for which relative affinities were determined experimentally using non-linear regression. The predicted and experimentally determined binding affinities were in good correlation.
Create date
22/06/2010 8:23
Last modification date
20/08/2019 16:22
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