Seed-based systematic discovery of specific transcription factor target genes.
ABSTRACT Reliable prediction of specific transcription factor target genes is a major challenge in systems biology and functional genomics. Current sequence-based methods yield many false predictions, due to the short and degenerated DNA-binding motifs. Here, we describe a new systematic genome-wide approach, the seed-distribution-distance method, that searches large-scale genome-wide expression data for genes that are similarly expressed as known targets. This method is used to identify genes that are likely targets, allowing sequence-based methods to focus on a subset of genes, giving rise to fewer false-positive predictions. We show by cross-validation that this method is robust in recovering specific target genes. Furthermore, this method identifies genes with typical functions and binding motifs of the seed. The method is illustrated by predicting novel targets of the transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). Among the new targets is optineurin, which plays a key role in the pathogenesis of acquired blindness caused by adult-onset primary open-angle glaucoma. We show experimentally that the optineurin gene and other predicted genes are targets of NF-kappaB. Thus, our data provide a missing link in the signalling of NF-kappaB and the damping function of optineurin in signalling feedback of NF-kappaB. We present a robust and reliable method to enhance the genome-wide prediction of specific transcription factor target genes that exploits the vast amount of expression information available in public databases today.
Article: A computational evaluation of over-representation of regulatory motifs in the promoter regions of differentially expressed genes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Observed co-expression of a group of genes is frequently attributed to co-regulation by shared transcription factors. This assumption has led to the hypothesis that promoters of co-expressed genes should share common regulatory motifs, which forms the basis for numerous computational tools that search for these motifs. While frequently explored for yeast, the validity of the underlying hypothesis has not been assessed systematically in mammals. This demonstrates the need for a systematic and quantitative evaluation to what degree co-expressed genes share over-represented motifs for mammals. We identified 33 experiments for human and mouse in the ArrayExpress Database where transcription factors were manipulated and which exhibited a significant number of differentially expressed genes. We checked for over-representation of transcription factor binding sites in up- or down-regulated genes using the over-representation analysis tool oPOSSUM. In 25 out of 33 experiments, this procedure identified the binding matrices of the affected transcription factors. We also carried out de novo prediction of regulatory motifs shared by differentially expressed genes. Again, the detected motifs shared significant similarity with the matrices of the affected transcription factors. Our results support the claim that functional regulatory motifs are over-represented in sets of differentially expressed genes and that they can be detected with computational methods.BMC Bioinformatics 01/2010; 11:267. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) regulates genes that function in diverse cellular processes like inflammation, immunity and cell survival. The activation of NF-κB is tightly controlled and the deubiquitinase CYLD has emerged as a key negative regulator of NF-κB signalling. Optineurin, mutated in certain glaucomas and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is also a negative regulator of NF-κB activation. It competes with NEMO (NF-κB essential modulator) for binding to ubiquitinated RIP (receptor interacting protein) to prevent NF-κB activation. Recently we identified CYLD as optineurin-interacting protein. Here we have analysed the functional significance of interaction of optineurin with CYLD. Our results show that a glaucoma-associated mutant of optineurin, H486R, is altered in its interaction with CYLD. Unlike wild-type optineurin, the H486R mutant did not inhibit tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα)-induced NF-κB activation. CYLD mediated inhibition of TNFα-induced NF-κB activation was abrogated by expression of the H486R mutant. Upon knockdown of optineurin, CYLD was unable to inhibit TNFα-induced NF-κB activation and showed drastically reduced interaction with ubiquitinated RIP. The level of ubiquitinated RIP was increased in optineurin knockdown cells. Deubiquitination of RIP by over-expressed CYLD was abrogated in optineurin knockdown cells. These results suggest that optineurin regulates NF-κB activation by mediating interaction of CYLD with ubiquitinated RIP thus facilitating deubiquitination of RIP.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17477. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular insights into reprogramming-initiation events mediated by the OSKM gene regulatory network.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Somatic cells can be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells by over-expression of OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 and c-MYC (OSKM). With the aim of unveiling the early mechanisms underlying the induction of pluripotency, we have analyzed transcriptional profiles at 24, 48 and 72 hours post-transduction of OSKM into human foreskin fibroblasts. Experiments confirmed that upon viral transduction, the immediate response is innate immunity, which induces free radical generation, oxidative DNA damage, p53 activation, senescence, and apoptosis, ultimately leading to a reduction in the reprogramming efficiency. Conversely, nucleofection of OSKM plasmids does not elicit the same cellular stress, suggesting viral response as an early reprogramming roadblock. Additional initiation events include the activation of surface markers associated with pluripotency and the suppression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, reconstruction of an OSKM interaction network highlights intermediate path nodes as candidates for improvement intervention. Overall, the results suggest three strategies to improve reprogramming efficiency employing: 1) anti-inflammatory modulation of innate immune response, 2) pre-selection of cells expressing pluripotency-associated surface antigens, 3) activation of specific interaction paths that amplify the pluripotency signal.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e24351. · 4.09 Impact Factor