Graph-based data integration predicts long-range regulatory interactions across the human genome

Graph-based data integration predicts long-range regulatory interactions across the human genome

Sofie Demeyer, Tom Michoel
(Submitted on 29 Apr 2014)

Transcriptional regulation of gene expression is one of the main processes that affect cell diversification from a single set of genes. Regulatory proteins often interact with DNA regions located distally from the transcription start sites (TSS) of the genes. We developed a computational method that combines open chromatin and gene expression information for a large number of cell types to identify these distal regulatory elements. Our method builds correlation graphs for publicly available DNase-seq and exon array datasets with matching samples and uses graph-based methods to filter findings supported by multiple datasets and remove indirect interactions. The resulting set of interactions was validated with both anecdotal information of known long-range interactions and unbiased experimental data deduced from Hi-C and CAGE experiments. Our results provide a novel set of high-confidence candidate open chromatin regions involved in gene regulation, often located several Mb away from the TSS of their target gene.

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