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Nat Protoc. 2006;1(1):368-74.

Locating potential enhancer elements by comparative genomics using the EEL software.

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  • 1Department of Computer Science, P.O. Box 68 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2b) FIN-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland. Kimmo.Palin@helsinki.fi


This protocol describes the use of Enhancer Element Locator (EEL), a computer program that was designed to locate distal enhancer elements in long mammalian sequences. EEL will predict the location and structure of conserved enhancers after being provided with two orthologous DNA sequences and binding specificity matrices for the transcription factors (TFs) that are expected to contribute to the function of the enhancers to be identified. The freely available EEL software can analyze two 1-Mb sequences with 100 TF motifs in about 15 min on a modern Windows, Linux or Mac computer. The output provides several hypotheses about enhancer location and structure for further evaluation by an expert on enhancer function.

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