A transcription factor affinity-based code for mammalian transcription initiation.

TitleA transcription factor affinity-based code for mammalian transcription initiation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMegraw, M, Pereira, F, Jensen, ST, Ohler, U, Hatzigeorgiou, AG
JournalGenome Res
Date Published2009 Apr
KeywordsBase Composition, Databases, Genetic, DNA, Gene Expression Regulation, Genome, Human, Humans, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA Polymerase II, TATA Box, Transcription Factors, Transcription Initiation Site, Transcription, Genetic

The recent arrival of large-scale cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) data sets in mammals provides a wealth of quantitative information on coding and noncoding RNA polymerase II transcription start sites (TSS). Genome-wide CAGE studies reveal that a large fraction of TSS exhibit peaks where the vast majority of associated tags map to a particular location ( approximately 45%), whereas other active regions contain a broader distribution of initiation events. The presence of a strong single peak suggests that transcription at these locations may be mediated by position-specific sequence features. We therefore propose a new model for single-peaked TSS based solely on known transcription factors (TFs) and their respective regions of positional enrichment. This probabilistic model leads to near-perfect classification results in cross-validation (auROC = 0.98), and performance in genomic scans demonstrates that TSS prediction with both high accuracy and spatial resolution is achievable for a specific but large subgroup of mammalian promoters. The interpretable model structure suggests a DNA code in which canonical sequence features such as TATA-box, Initiator, and GC content do play a significant role, but many additional TFs show distinct spatial biases with respect to TSS location and are important contributors to the accurate prediction of single-peak transcription initiation sites. The model structure also reveals that CAGE tag clusters distal from annotated gene starts have distinct characteristics compared to those close to gene 5'-ends. Using this high-resolution single-peak model, we predict TSS for approximately 70% of mammalian microRNAs based on currently available data.

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Alternate JournalGenome Res.
PubMed ID19141595
PubMed Central IDPMC2665783
Grant ListP50GM081883 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 HG 004065 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States