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Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Feb 1;41(3):e48. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks1214. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

EMdeCODE: a novel algorithm capable of reading words of epigenetic code to predict enhancers and retroviral integration sites and to identify H3R2me1 as a distinctive mark of coding versus non-coding genes.

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  • 1Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland. federico.santoni@unige.ch

Abstract

Existence of some extra-genetic (epigenetic) codes has been postulated since the discovery of the primary genetic code. Evident effects of histone post-translational modifications or DNA methylation over the efficiency and the regulation of DNA processes are supporting this postulation. EMdeCODE is an original algorithm that approximate the genomic distribution of given DNA features (e.g. promoter, enhancer, viral integration) by identifying relevant ChIPSeq profiles of post-translational histone marks or DNA binding proteins and combining them in a supermark. EMdeCODE kernel is essentially a two-step procedure: (i) an expectation-maximization process calculates the mixture of epigenetic factors that maximize the Sensitivity (recall) of the association with the feature under study; (ii) the approximated density is then recursively trimmed with respect to a control dataset to increase the precision by reducing the number of false positives. EMdeCODE densities improve significantly the prediction of enhancer loci and retroviral integration sites with respect to previous methods. Importantly, it can also be used to extract distinctive factors between two arbitrary conditions. Indeed EMdeCODE identifies unexpected epigenetic profiles specific for coding versus non-coding RNA, pointing towards a new role for H3R2me1 in coding regions.

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