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Nat Rev Genet. 2010 Nov;11(11):751-60. doi: 10.1038/nrg2845. Epub 2010 Sep 28.

Determining the specificity of protein-DNA interactions.

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Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine, 4444 Forest Park Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri 63110-8510, USA.


Proteins, such as many transcription factors, that bind to specific DNA sequences are essential for the proper regulation of gene expression. Identifying the specific sequences that each factor binds can help to elucidate regulatory networks within cells and how genetic variation can cause disruption of normal gene expression, which is often associated with disease. Traditional methods for determining the specificity of DNA-binding proteins are slow and laborious, but several new high-throughput methods can provide comprehensive binding information much more rapidly. Combined with in vivo determinations of transcription factor binding locations, this information provides more detailed views of the regulatory circuitry of cells and the effects of variation on gene expression.

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