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Biosystems. 1993;29(2-3):105-28.

A linguistic representation of the regulation of transcription initiation. II. Distinctive features of sigma 70 promoters and their regulatory binding sites.

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Centro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca, Morelos.


The goal of this paper and the accompanying one is to achieve a linguistic representation of a set of sigma 70 promoters. Such a description is formed by an ordered concatenated array of complex symbols identified by their categorical property, i.e. promoter, operator, activator binding site, etc. Each of these symbols may contain several properties associated with their respective classes of 'molecular words'. The main problem in attaining such a description is to define which properties are going to be represented, and how. In the accompanying paper the criteria on which the selection of alternative descriptions is based were discussed. The properties of promoters and regulatory sites are discussed here, and their corresponding distinctive features are selected following such criteria. Thus, information that is not directly relevant and that can overspecify the description has been excluded, since it does not seem to contribute to identifying classes of substitutable elements. Other properties, such as strength of promoters, position of regulatory sites, different types of specificities of regulatory proteins, affinity of their binding sites, etc., are also discussed. As a result of this analysis, a complete representation with distinctive features of the set of sigma 70 promoters is attainable.

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