Inferring transcription factor complexes from ChIP-seq data.
ABSTRACT: Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) allows researchers to determine the genome-wide binding locations of individual transcription factors (TFs) at high resolution. This information can be interrogated to study various aspects of TF behaviour, including the mechanisms that control TF binding. Physical interaction between TFs comprises one important aspect of TF binding in eukaryotes, mediating tissue-specific gene expression. We have developed an algorithm, spaced motif analysis (SpaMo), which is able to infer physical interactions between the given TF and TFs bound at neighbouring sites at the DNA interface. The algorithm predicts TF interactions in half of the ChIP-seq data sets we test, with the majority of these predictions supported by direct evidence from the literature or evidence of homodimerization. High resolution motif spacing information obtained by this method can facilitate an improved understanding of individual TF complex structures. SpaMo can assist researchers in extracting maximum information relating to binding mechanisms from their TF ChIP-seq data. SpaMo is available for download and interactive use as part of the MEME Suite (http://meme.nbcr.net).
Project description:Advances in high-throughput sequencing have resulted in rapid growth in large, high-quality datasets including those arising from transcription factor (TF) ChIP-seq experiments. While there are many existing tools for discovering TF binding site motifs in such datasets, most web-based tools cannot directly process such large datasets.The MEME-ChIP web service is designed to analyze ChIP-seq 'peak regions'--short genomic regions surrounding declared ChIP-seq 'peaks'. Given a set of genomic regions, it performs (i) ab initio motif discovery, (ii) motif enrichment analysis, (iii) motif visualization, (iv) binding affinity analysis and (v) motif identification. It runs two complementary motif discovery algorithms on the input data--MEME and DREME--and uses the motifs they discover in subsequent visualization, binding affinity and identification steps. MEME-ChIP also performs motif enrichment analysis using the AME algorithm, which can detect very low levels of enrichment of binding sites for TFs with known DNA-binding motifs. Importantly, unlike with the MEME web service, there is no restriction on the size or number of uploaded sequences, allowing very large ChIP-seq datasets to be analyzed. The analyses performed by MEME-ChIP provide the user with a varied view of the binding and regulatory activity of the ChIP-ed TF, as well as the possible involvement of other DNA-binding TFs.MEME-ChIP is available as part of the MEME Suite at http://meme.nbcr.net.
Project description:Transcription factors (TFs) often work cooperatively, where the binding of one TF to DNA enhances the binding affinity of a second TF to a nearby location. Such cooperative binding is important for activating gene expression from promoters and enhancers in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Existing methods to detect cooperative binding of a TF pair rely on analyzing the sequence that is bound. We propose a method that uses, instead, only ChIP-seq peak intensities and an expectation maximization (CPI-EM) algorithm. We validate our method using ChIP-seq data from cells where one of a pair of TFs under consideration has been genetically knocked out. Our algorithm relies on our observation that cooperative TF-TF binding is correlated with weak binding of one of the TFs, which we demonstrate in a variety of cell types, including E. coli, S. cerevisiae and M. musculus cells. We show that this method performs significantly better than a predictor based only on the ChIP-seq peak distance of the TFs under consideration. This suggests that peak intensities contain information that can help detect the cooperative binding of a TF pair. CPI-EM also outperforms an existing sequence-based algorithm in detecting cooperative binding. The CPI-EM algorithm is available at https://github.com/vishakad/cpi-em.
Project description:Mapping genome-wide binding sites of all transcription factors (TFs) in all biological contexts is a critical step toward understanding gene regulation. The state-of-the-art technologies for mapping transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) couple chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) or tiling array hybridization (ChIP-chip). These technologies have limitations: they are low-throughput with respect to surveying many TFs. Recent advances in genome-wide chromatin profiling, including development of technologies such as DNase-seq, FAIRE-seq and ChIP-seq for histone modifications, make it possible to predict in vivo TFBSs by analyzing chromatin features at computationally determined DNA motif sites. This promising new approach may allow researchers to monitor the genome-wide binding sites of many TFs simultaneously. In this article, we discuss various experimental design and data analysis issues that arise when applying this approach. Through a systematic analysis of the data from the Encyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project, we compare the predictive power of individual and combinations of chromatin marks using supervised and unsupervised learning methods, and evaluate the value of integrating information from public ChIP and gene expression data. We also highlight the challenges and opportunities for developing novel analytical methods, such as resolving the one-motif-multiple-TF ambiguity and distinguishing functional and non-functional TF binding targets from the predicted binding sites.The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12561-012-9066-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Project description:Dramatic progress in the development of next-generation sequencing technologies has enabled accurate genome-wide characterization of the binding sites of DNA-associated proteins. This technique, baptized as ChIP-Seq, uses a combination of chromatin immunoprecipitation and massively parallel DNA sequencing. Other published tools that predict binding sites from ChIP-Seq data use only positional information of mapped reads. In contrast, our algorithm MICSA (Motif Identification for ChIP-Seq Analysis) combines this source of positional information with information on motif occurrences to better predict binding sites of transcription factors (TFs). We proved the greater accuracy of MICSA with respect to several other tools by running them on datasets for the TFs NRSF, GABP, STAT1 and CTCF. We also applied MICSA on a dataset for the oncogenic TF EWS-FLI1. We discovered >2000 binding sites and two functionally different binding motifs. We observed that EWS-FLI1 can activate gene transcription when (i) its binding site is located in close proximity to the gene transcription start site (up to approximately 150 kb), and (ii) it contains a microsatellite sequence. Furthermore, we observed that sites without microsatellites can also induce regulation of gene expression--positively as often as negatively--and at much larger distances (up to approximately 1 Mb).
Project description:In response to activating signals, transcription factors (TFs) bind DNA and regulate gene expression. TF binding can be measured by protection of the bound sequence from DNase digestion (i.e., footprint). Here, we report that 80% of TF binding motifs do not show a measurable footprint, partly because of a variable cleavage pattern within the motif sequence. To more faithfully portray the effect of TFs on chromatin, we developed an algorithm that captures two TF-dependent effects on chromatin accessibility: footprinting and motif-flanking accessibility. The algorithm, termed bivariate genomic footprinting (BaGFoot), efficiently detects TF activity. BaGFoot is robust to different accessibility assays (DNase-seq, ATAC-seq), all examined peak-calling programs, and a variety of cut bias correction approaches. BaGFoot reliably predicts TF binding and provides valuable information regarding the TFs affecting chromatin accessibility in various biological systems and following various biological events, including in cases where an absolute footprint cannot be determined.
Project description:ChIP-seq reveals genomic regions where proteins, e.g. transcription factors (TFs) interact with DNA. A substantial fraction of these regions, however, do not contain the cognate binding site for the TF of interest. This phenomenon might be explained by protein-protein interactions and co-precipitation of interacting gene regulatory elements. We uniformly processed 3727 human ChIP-seq data sets and determined the cistrome of 292 TFs, as well as the distances between the TF binding motif centers and the ChIP-seq peak summits. ChIPSummitDB enables the analysis of ChIP-seq data using multiple approaches. The 292 cistromes and corresponding ChIP-seq peak sets can be browsed in GenomeView. Overlapping SNPs can be inspected in dbSNPView. Most importantly, the MotifView and PairShiftView pages show the average distance between motif centers and overlapping ChIP-seq peak summits and distance distributions thereof, respectively. In addition to providing a comprehensive human TF binding site collection, the ChIPSummitDB database and web interface allows for the examination of the topological arrangement of TF complexes genome-wide. ChIPSummitDB is freely accessible at http://summit.med.unideb.hu/summitdb/. The database will be regularly updated and extended with the newly available human and mouse ChIP-seq data sets.
Project description:Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) coupled to high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) techniques can reveal DNA regions bound by transcription factors (TF). Analysis of the ChIP-Seq regions is now a central component in gene regulation studies. The need remains strong for methods to improve the interpretation of ChIP-Seq data and the study of specific TF binding sites (TFBS).We introduce a set of methods to improve the interpretation of ChIP-Seq data, including the inference of mediating TFs based on TFBS motif over-representation analysis and the subsequent study of spatial distribution of TFBSs. TFBS over-representation analysis applied to ChIP-Seq data is used to detect which TFBSs arise more frequently than expected by chance. Visualization of over-representation analysis results with new composition-bias plots reveals systematic bias in over-representation scores. We introduce the BiasAway background generating software to resolve the problem. A heuristic procedure based on topological motif enrichment relative to the ChIP-Seq peaks' local maximums highlights peaks likely to be directly bound by a TF of interest. The results suggest that on average two-thirds of a ChIP-Seq dataset's peaks are bound by the ChIP'd TF; the origin of the remaining peaks remaining undetermined. Additional visualization methods allow for the study of both inter-TFBS spatial relationships and motif-flanking sequence properties, as demonstrated in case studies for TBP and ZNF143/THAP11.Topological properties of TFBS within ChIP-Seq datasets can be harnessed to better interpret regulatory sequences. Using GC content corrected TFBS over-representation analysis, combined with visualization techniques and analysis of the topological distribution of TFBS, we can distinguish peaks likely to be directly bound by a TF. The new methods will empower researchers for exploration of gene regulation and TF binding.
Project description:Studies of gene regulation often utilize genome-wide predictions of transcription factor (TF) binding sites. Most existing prediction methods are based on sequence information alone, ignoring biological contexts such as developmental stages and tissue types. Experimental methods to study in vivo binding, including ChIP-chip and ChIP-seq, can only study one transcription factor in a single cell type and under a specific condition in each experiment, and therefore cannot scale to determine the full set of regulatory interactions in mammalian transcriptional regulatory networks.We developed a new computational approach, PIPES, for predicting tissue-specific TF binding. PIPES integrates in vitro protein binding microarrays (PBMs), sequence conservation and tissue-specific epigenetic (DNase I hypersensitivity) information. We demonstrate that PIPES improves over existing methods on distinguishing between in vivo bound and unbound sequences using ChIP-seq data for 11 mouse TFs. In addition, our predictions are in good agreement with current knowledge of tissue-specific TF regulation.We provide a systematic map of computationally predicted tissue-specific binding targets for 284 mouse TFs across 55 tissue/cell types. Such comprehensive resource is useful for researchers studying gene regulation.
Project description:Histone acetylation (HAc) is associated with open chromatin, and HAc has been shown to facilitate transcription factor (TF) binding in mammalian cells. In the innate immune system context, epigenetic studies strongly implicate HAc in the transcriptional response of activated macrophages. We hypothesized that using data from large-scale sequencing of a HAc chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP-Seq) would improve the performance of computational prediction of binding locations of TFs mediating the response to a signaling event, namely, macrophage activation.We tested this hypothesis using a multi-evidence approach for predicting binding sites. As a training/test dataset, we used ChIP-Seq-derived TF binding site locations for five TFs in activated murine macrophages. Our model combined TF binding site motif scanning with evidence from sequence-based sources and from HAc ChIP-Seq data, using a weighted sum of thresholded scores. We find that using HAc data significantly improves the performance of motif-based TF binding site prediction. Furthermore, we find that within regions of high HAc, local minima of the HAc ChIP-Seq signal are particularly strongly correlated with TF binding locations. Our model, using motif scanning and HAc local minima, improves the sensitivity for TF binding site prediction by approximately 50% over a model based on motif scanning alone, at a false positive rate cutoff of 0.01.The data and software source code for model training and validation are freely available online at http://magnet.systemsbiology.net/hac.
Project description:Data from ChIP-seq experiments can derive the genome-wide binding specificities of transcription factors (TFs) and other regulatory proteins. We analyzed 765 ENCODE ChIP-seq peak datasets of 207 human TFs with a novel motif discovery pipeline based on recursive, thresholded entropy minimization. This approach, while obviating the need to compensate for skewed nucleotide composition, distinguishes true binding motifs from noise, quantifies the strengths of individual binding sites based on computed affinity and detects adjacent cofactor binding sites that coordinate with the targets of primary, immunoprecipitated TFs. We obtained contiguous and bipartite information theory-based position weight matrices (iPWMs) for 93 sequence-specific TFs, discovered 23 cofactor motifs for 127 TFs and revealed six high-confidence novel motifs. The reliability and accuracy of these iPWMs were determined via four independent validation methods, including the detection of experimentally proven binding sites, explanation of effects of characterized SNPs, comparison with previously published motifs and statistical analyses. We also predict previously unreported TF coregulatory interactions (e.g. TF complexes). These iPWMs constitute a powerful tool for predicting the effects of sequence variants in known binding sites, performing mutation analysis on regulatory SNPs and predicting previously unrecognized binding sites and target genes.