High DNA melting temperature predicts transcription start site location in human and mouse.
AffiliationComplex and Adaptive Systems Laboratory (CASL), University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. email@example.com
Nucleic Acid Denaturation
Promoter Regions, Genetic
Transcription Initiation Site
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CitationHigh DNA melting temperature predicts transcription start site location in human and mouse. 2009, 37 (22):7360-7 Nucleic Acids Res.
JournalNucleic acids research
AbstractThe accurate computational prediction of transcription start sites (TSS) in vertebrate genomes is a difficult problem. The physicochemical properties of DNA can be computed in various ways and a many combinations of DNA features have been tested in the past for use as predictors of transcription. We looked in detail at melting temperature, which measures the temperature, at which two strands of DNA separate, considering the cooperative nature of this process. We find that peaks in melting temperature correspond closely to experimentally determined transcription start sites in human and mouse chromosomes. Using melting temperature alone, and with simple thresholding, we can predict TSS with accuracy that is competitive with the most accurate state-of-the-art TSS prediction methods. Accuracy is measured using both experimentally and manually determined TSS. The method works especially well with CpG island containing promoters, but also works when CpG islands are absent. This result is clear evidence of the important role of the physical properties of DNA in the process of transcription. It also points to the importance for TSS prediction methods to include melting temperature as prior information.