Experimental analysis and computer prediction of CTF/NFI transcription factor DNA binding sites

Accurate prediction of transcription factor binding sites is needed to unravel the function and regulation of genes discovered in genome sequencing projects. To evaluate current computer prediction tools, we have begun a systematic study of the sequence-specific DNA-binding of a transcription factor belonging to the CTF/NFI family. Using a systematic collection of rationally designed oligonucleotides combined with an in vitro DNA binding assay, we found that the sequence specificity of this protein cannot be represented by a simple consensus sequence or weight matrix. For instance, CTF/NFI uses a flexible DNA binding mode that allows for variations of the binding site length. From the experimental data, we derived a novel prediction method using a generalised profile as a binding site predictor. Experimental evaluation of the generalised profile indicated that it accurately predicts the binding affinity of the transcription factor to natural or synthetic DNA sequences. Furthermore, the in vitro measured binding affinities of a subset of oligonucleotides were found to correlate with their transcriptional activities in transfected cells. The combined computational-experimental approach exemplified in this work thus resulted in an accurate prediction method for CTF/NFI binding sites potentially functioning as regulatory regions in vivo.

Published in:
J Mol Biol, 297, 4, 833-48
Laboratory of Molecular Biotechnology, Centre for Biotechnology UNIL-EPFL and Institute of Animal Biology University of Lausanne, Lausanne, CH-1015, Switzerland.

 Record created 2007-12-17, last modified 2018-03-17

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