Predictive models of eukaryotic transcriptional regulation reveals changes in transcription factor roles and promoter usage between metabolic conditions.
ABSTRACT: Transcription factors (TF) are central to transcriptional regulation, but they are often studied in relative isolation and without close control of the metabolic state of the cell. Here, we describe genome-wide binding (by ChIP-exo) of 15 yeast TFs in four chemostat conditions that cover a range of metabolic states. We integrate this data with transcriptomics and six additional recently mapped TFs to identify predictive models describing how TFs control gene expression in different metabolic conditions. Contributions by TFs to gene regulation are predicted to be mostly activating, additive and well approximated by assuming linear effects from TF binding signal. Notably, using TF binding peaks from peak finding algorithms gave distinctly worse predictions than simply summing the low-noise and high-resolution TF ChIP-exo reads on promoters. Finally, we discover indications of a novel functional role for three TFs; Gcn4, Ert1 and Sut1 during nitrogen limited aerobic fermentation. In only this condition, the three TFs have correlated binding to a large number of genes (enriched for glycolytic and translation processes) and a negative correlation to target gene transcript levels.
Project description:Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the most popular assay to identify genomic regions, called ChIP-seq peaks, that are bound in vivo by transcription factors (TFs). These regions are derived from direct TF-DNA interactions, indirect binding of the TF to the DNA (through a co-binding partner), nonspecific binding to the DNA, and noise/bias/artifacts. Delineating the bona fide direct TF-DNA interactions within the ChIP-seq peaks remains challenging. We developed a dedicated software, ChIP-eat, that combines computational TF binding models and ChIP-seq peaks to automatically predict direct TF-DNA interactions. Our work culminated with predicted interactions covering >4% of the human genome, obtained by uniformly processing 1983 ChIP-seq peak data sets from the ReMap database for 232 unique TFs. The predictions were a posteriori assessed using protein binding microarray and ChIP-exo data, and were predominantly found in high quality ChIP-seq peaks. The set of predicted direct TF-DNA interactions suggested that high-occupancy target regions are likely not derived from direct binding of the TFs to the DNA. Our predictions derived co-binding TFs supported by protein-protein interaction data and defined cis-regulatory modules enriched for disease- and trait-associated SNPs. We provide this collection of direct TF-DNA interactions and cis-regulatory modules through the UniBind web-interface (http://unibind.uio.no).
Project description:BACKGROUND: Inference of causal regulators responsible for gene expression changes under different conditions is of great importance but remains rather challenging. To date, most approaches use direct binding targets of transcription factors (TFs) to associate TFs with expression profiles. However, the low overlap between binding targets of a TF and the affected genes of the TF knockout limits the power of those methods. RESULTS: We developed a TF-centered downstream gene set enrichment analysis approach to identify potential causal regulators responsible for expression changes. We constructed hierarchical and multi-layer regulation models to derive possible downstream gene sets of a TF using not only TF-DNA interactions, but also, for the first time, post-translational modifications (PTM) information. We verified our method in one expression dataset of large-scale TF knockout and another dataset involving both TF knockout and TF overexpression. Compared with the flat model using TF-DNA interactions alone, our method correctly identified five more actual perturbed TFs in large-scale TF knockout data and six more perturbed TFs in overexpression data. Potential regulatory pathways downstream of three perturbed regulators- SNF1, AFT1 and SUT1 -were given to demonstrate the power of multilayer regulation models integrating TF-DNA interactions and PTM information. Additionally, our method successfully identified known important TFs and inferred some novel potential TFs involved in the transition from fermentative to glycerol-based respiratory growth and in the pheromone response. Downstream regulation pathways of SUT1 and AFT1 were also supported by the mRNA and/or phosphorylation changes of their mediating TFs and/or "modulator" proteins. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that in addition to direct transcription, indirect transcription and post-translational regulation are also responsible for the effects of TFs perturbation, especially for TFs overexpression. Many TFs inferred by our method are supported by literature. Multiple TF regulation models could lead to new hypotheses for future experiments. Our method provides a valuable framework for analyzing gene expression data to identify causal regulators in the context of TF-DNA interactions and PTM information.
Project description:DNA-binding motifs that are recognized by transcription factors (TFs) have been well studied; however, challenges remain in determining the in vivo architecture of TF-DNA complexes on a genome-scale. Here, we determined the in vivo architecture of Escherichia coli arginine repressor (ArgR)-DNA complexes using high-throughput sequencing of exonuclease-treated chromatin-immunoprecipitated DNA (ChIP-exo). The ChIP-exo has a unique peak-pair pattern indicating 5' and 3' ends of ArgR-binding region. We identified 62 ArgR-binding loci, which were classified into three groups, comprising single, double and triple peak-pairs. Each peak-pair has a unique 93 base pair (bp)-long (±2 bp) ArgR-binding sequence containing two ARG boxes (39 bp) and residual sequences. Moreover, the three ArgR-binding modes defined by the position of the two ARG boxes indicate that DNA bends centered between the pair of ARG boxes facilitate the non-specific contacts between ArgR subunits and the residual sequences. Additionally, our approach may also reveal other fundamental structural features of TF-DNA interactions that have implications for studying genome-scale transcriptional regulatory networks.
Project description:Chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to next-generation sequencing (ChIP-seq) is widely used to study the in vivo binding sites of transcription factors (TFs) and their regulatory targets. Recent improvements to ChIP-seq, such as increased resolution, promise deeper insights into transcriptional regulation, yet require novel computational tools to fully leverage their advantages.To this aim, we have developed peakzilla, which can identify closely spaced TF binding sites at high resolution (i.e. resolves individual binding sites even if spaced closely), as we demonstrate using semisynthetic datasets, performing ChIP-seq for the TF Twist in Drosophila embryos with different experimental fragment sizes, and analyzing ChIP-exo datasets. We show that the increased resolution reached by peakzilla is highly relevant, as closely spaced Twist binding sites are strongly enriched in transcriptional enhancers, suggesting a signature to discriminate functional from abundant non-functional or neutral TF binding. Peakzilla is easy to use, as it estimates all the necessary parameters from the data and is freely available.The peakzilla program is available from https://github.com/steinmann/peakzilla or http://firstname.lastname@example.org.Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Project description:A complete view of eukaryotic gene regulation requires that we accurately delineate how transcription factors (TFs) and nucleosomes are arranged along linear DNA in a sensitive, unbiased manner. Here we introduce MNase-SSP, a single-stranded sequencing library preparation method for nuclease-digested chromatin that enables simultaneous mapping of TF and nucleosome positions. As a proof of concept, we apply MNase-SSP toward the genome-wide, high-resolution mapping of nucleosome and TF occupancy in murine embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Compared with existing MNase-seq protocols, MNase-SSP markedly enriches for short DNA fragments, enabling detection of binding by subnucleosomal particles and TFs, in addition to nucleosomes. From these same data, we identify multiple, sequence-dependent binding modes of the architectural TF Ctcf and extend this analysis to the TF Nrsf/Rest. Looking forward, we anticipate that single stranded protocol (SSP) adaptations of any protein-DNA interaction mapping technique (e.g., ChIP-exo and CUT&RUN) will enhance the information content of the resulting data.
Project description:Understanding the role of a given transcription factor (TF) in regulating gene expression requires precise mapping of its binding sites in the genome. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-exo, an emerging technique using ? exonuclease to digest TF unbound DNA after ChIP, is designed to reveal transcription factor binding site (TFBS) boundaries with near-single nucleotide resolution. Although ChIP-exo promises deeper insights into transcription regulation, no dedicated bioinformatics tool exists to leverage its advantages. Most ChIP-seq and ChIP-chip analytic methods are not tailored for ChIP-exo, and thus cannot take full advantage of high-resolution ChIP-exo data. Here we describe a novel analysis framework, termed MACE (model-based analysis of ChIP-exo) dedicated to ChIP-exo data analysis. The MACE workflow consists of four steps: (i) sequencing data normalization and bias correction; (ii) signal consolidation and noise reduction; (iii) single-nucleotide resolution border peak detection using the Chebyshev Inequality and (iv) border matching using the Gale-Shapley stable matching algorithm. When applied to published human CTCF, yeast Reb1 and our own mouse ONECUT1/HNF6 ChIP-exo data, MACE is able to define TFBSs with high sensitivity, specificity and spatial resolution, as evidenced by multiple criteria including motif enrichment, sequence conservation, direct sequence pileup, nucleosome positioning and open chromatin states. In addition, we show that the fundamental advance of MACE is the identification of two boundaries of a TFBS with high resolution, whereas other methods only report a single location of the same event. The two boundaries help elucidate the in vivo binding structure of a given TF, e.g. whether the TF may bind as dimers or in a complex with other co-factors.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments are now the most comprehensive experimental approaches for mapping the binding of transcription factors (TFs) to their target genes. However, ChIP data alone is insufficient for identifying functional binding target genes of TFs for two reasons. First, there is an inherent high false positive/negative rate in ChIP-chip or ChIP-seq experiments. Second, binding signals in the ChIP data do not necessarily imply functionality. METHODS: It is known that ChIP-chip data and TF knockout (TFKO) data reveal complementary information on gene regulation. While ChIP-chip data can provide TF-gene binding pairs, TFKO data can provide TF-gene regulation pairs. Therefore, we propose a novel network approach for identifying functional TF-gene binding pairs by integrating the ChIP-chip data with the TFKO data. In our method, a TF-gene binding pair from the ChIP-chip data is regarded to be functional if it also has high confident curated TFKO TF-gene regulatory relation or deduced hypostatic TF-gene regulatory relation. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: We first validated our method on a gathered ground truth set. Then we applied our method to the ChIP-chip data to identify functional TF-gene binding pairs. The biological significance of our identified functional TF-gene binding pairs was shown by assessing their functional enrichment, the prevalence of protein-protein interaction, and expression coherence. Our results outperformed the results of three existing methods across all measures. And our identified functional targets of TFs also showed statistical significance over the randomly assigned TF-gene pairs. We also showed that our method is dataset independent and can apply to ChIP-seq data and the E. coli genome. Finally, we provided an example showing the biological applicability of our notion.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>How transcription factors (TFs) interact with cis-regulatory sequences and interact with each other is a fundamental, but not well understood, aspect of gene regulation.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We present a computational method to address this question, relying on the established biophysical principles. This method, STAP (sequence to affinity prediction), takes into account all combinations and configurations of strong and weak binding sites to analyze large scale transcription factor (TF)-DNA binding data to discover cooperative interactions among TFs, infer sequence rules of interaction and predict TF target genes in new conditions with no TF-DNA binding data. The distinctions between STAP and other statistical approaches for analyzing cis-regulatory sequences include the utility of physical principles and the treatment of the DNA binding data as quantitative representation of binding strengths. Applying this method to the ChIP-seq data of 12 TFs in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, we found that the strength of TF-DNA binding could be significantly modulated by cooperative interactions among TFs with adjacent binding sites. However, further analysis on five putatively interacting TF pairs suggests that such interactions may be relatively insensitive to the distance and orientation of binding sites. Testing a set of putative Nanog motifs, STAP showed that a novel Nanog motif could better explain the ChIP-seq data than previously published ones. We then experimentally tested and verified the new Nanog motif. A series of comparisons showed that STAP has more predictive power than several state-of-the-art methods for cis-regulatory sequence analysis. We took advantage of this power to study the evolution of TF-target relationship in Drosophila. By learning the TF-DNA interaction models from the ChIP-chip data of D. melanogaster (Mel) and applying them to the genome of D. pseudoobscura (Pse), we found that only about half of the sequences strongly bound by TFs in Mel have high binding affinities in Pse. We show that prediction of functional TF targets from ChIP-chip data can be improved by using the conservation of STAP predicted affinities as an additional filter.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>STAP is an effective method to analyze binding site arrangements, TF cooperativity, and TF target genes from genome-wide TF-DNA binding data.
Project description:BACKGROUND:ChIP (Chromatin immunoprecipitation)-exo has emerged as an important and versatile improvement over conventional ChIP-seq as it reduces the level of noise, maps the transcription factor (TF) binding location in a very precise manner, upto single base-pair resolution, and enables binding mode prediction. Availability of numerous peak-callers for analyzing ChIP-exo reads has motivated the need to assess their performance and report which tool executes reasonably well for the task. RESULTS:This study has focussed on comparing peak-callers that report direct binding events with those that report indirect binding events. The effect of strandedness of reads and duplication of data on the performance of peak-callers has been investigated. The number of peaks reported by each peak-caller is compared followed by a comparison of the annotated motifs present in the reported peaks. The significance of peaks is assessed based on the presence of a motif in top peaks. Indirect binding tools have been compared on the basis of their ability to identify annotated motifs and predict mode of protein-DNA interaction. CONCLUSION:By studying the output of the peak-callers investigated in this study, it is concluded that the tools that use self-learning algorithms, i.e. the tools that estimate all the essential parameters from the aligned reads, perform better than the algorithms which require formation of peak-pairs. The latest tools that account for indirect binding of TFs appear to be an upgrade over the available tools, as they are able to reveal valuable information about the mode of binding in addition to direct binding. Furthermore, the quality of ChIP-exo reads have important consequences on the output of data analysis.
Project description:Accurately characterizing transcription factor (TF)-DNA affinity is a central goal of regulatory genomics. Although thermodynamics provides the most natural language for describing the continuous range of TF-DNA affinity, traditional motif discovery algorithms focus instead on classification paradigms that aim to discriminate 'bound' and 'unbound' sequences. Moreover, these algorithms do not directly model the distribution of tags in ChIP-seq data. Here, we present a new algorithm named Thermodynamic Modeling of ChIP-seq (TherMos), which directly estimates a position-specific binding energy matrix (PSEM) from ChIP-seq/exo tag profiles. In cross-validation tests on seven genome-wide TF-DNA binding profiles, one of which we generated via ChIP-seq on a complex developing tissue, TherMos predicted quantitative TF-DNA binding with greater accuracy than five well-known algorithms. We experimentally validated TherMos binding energy models for Klf4 and Esrrb, using a novel protocol to measure PSEMs in vitro. Strikingly, our measurements revealed strong non-additivity at multiple positions within the two PSEMs. Among the algorithms tested, only TherMos was able to model the entire binding energy landscape of Klf4 and Esrrb. Our study reveals new insights into the energetics of TF-DNA binding in vivo and provides an accurate first-principles approach to binding energy inference from ChIP-seq and ChIP-exo data.