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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Nov 16;101(46):16234-9. Epub 2004 Nov 8.

Interacting models of cooperative gene regulation.

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  • 1Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA.


Cooperativity between transcription factors is critical to gene regulation. Current computational methods do not take adequate account of this salient aspect. To address this issue, we present a computational method based on multivariate adaptive regression splines to correlate the occurrences of transcription factor binding motifs in the promoter DNA and their interactions to the logarithm of the ratio of gene expression levels. This allows us to discover both the individual motifs and synergistic pairs of motifs that are most likely to be functional, and enumerate their relative contributions at any arbitrary time point for which mRNA expression data are available. We present results of simulations and focus specifically on the yeast cell-cycle data. Inclusion of synergistic interactions can increase the prediction accuracy over linear regression to as much as 1.5- to 3.5-fold. Significant motifs and combinations of motifs are appropriately predicted at each stage of the cell cycle. We believe our multivariate adaptive regression splines-based approach will become more significant when applied to higher eukaryotes, especially mammals, where cooperative control of gene regulation is absolutely essential.

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