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J Comput Biol. 1997 Fall;4(3):311-23.

Improved splice site detection in Genie.

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Human Genome Informatics Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


We present an improved splice site predictor for the genefinding program Genie. Genie is based on a generalized Hidden Markov Model (GHMM) that describes the grammar of a legal parse of a multi-exon gene in a DNA sequence. In Genie, probabilities are estimated for gene features by using dynamic programming to combine information from multiple content and signal sensors, including sensors that integrate matches to homologous sequences from a database. One of the hardest problems in genefinding is to determine the complete gene structure correctly. The splice site sensors are the key signal sensors that address this problem. We replaced the existing splice site sensors in Genie with two novel neural networks based on dinucleotide frequencies. Using these novel sensors, Genie shows significant improvements in the sensitivity and specificity of gene structure identification. Experimental results in tests using a standard set of annotated genes showed that Genie identified 86% of coding nucleotides correctly with a specificity of 85%, versus 80% and 84% in the older system. In further splice site experiments, we also looked at correlations between splice site scores and intron and exon lengths, as well as at the effect of distance to the nearest splice site on false positive rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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