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This article is part of the supplement: Selected articles from the Eighth Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Conference (APBC 2010)

Open Access Research

Annotation of gene promoters by integrative data-mining of ChIP-seq Pol-II enrichment data

Ravi Gupta1, Priyankara Wikramasinghe1, Anirban Bhattacharyya1, Francisco A Perez1, Sharmistha Pal1 and Ramana V Davuluri12*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Systems and Computational Biology, Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2 Graduate Group in Genomics and Computational Biology, Department of Genetics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2010, 11(Suppl 1):S65  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-11-S1-S65

Published: 18 January 2010

Abstract

Background

Use of alternative gene promoters that drive widespread cell-type, tissue-type or developmental gene regulation in mammalian genomes is a common phenomenon. Chromatin immunoprecipitation methods coupled with DNA microarray (ChIP-chip) or massive parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq) are enabling genome-wide identification of active promoters in different cellular conditions using antibodies against Pol-II. However, these methods produce enrichment not only near the gene promoters but also inside the genes and other genomic regions due to the non-specificity of the antibodies used in ChIP. Further, the use of these methods is limited by their high cost and strong dependence on cellular type and context.

Methods

We trained and tested different state-of-art ensemble and meta classification methods for identification of Pol-II enriched promoter and Pol-II enriched non-promoter sequences, each of length 500 bp. The classification models were trained and tested on a bench-mark dataset, using a set of 39 different feature variables that are based on chromatin modification signatures and various DNA sequence features. The best performing model was applied on seven published ChIP-seq Pol-II datasets to provide genome wide annotation of mouse gene promoters.

Results

We present a novel algorithm based on supervised learning methods to discriminate promoter associated Pol-II enrichment from enrichment elsewhere in the genome in ChIP-chip/seq profiles. We accumulated a dataset of 11,773 promoter and 46,167 non-promoter sequences, each of length 500 bp, generated from RNA Pol-II ChIP-seq data of five tissues (Brain, Kidney, Liver, Lung and Spleen). We evaluated the classification models in building the best predictor and found that Bagging and Random Forest based approaches give the best accuracy. We implemented the algorithm on seven different published ChIP-seq datasets to provide a comprehensive set of promoter annotations for both protein-coding and non-coding genes in the mouse genome. The resulting annotations contain 13,413 (4,747) protein-coding (non-coding) genes with single promoters and 9,929 (1,858) protein-coding (non-coding) genes with two or more alternative promoters, and a significant number of unassigned novel promoters.

Conclusion

Our new algorithm can successfully predict the promoters from the genome wide profile of Pol-II bound regions. In addition, our algorithm performs significantly better than existing promoter prediction methods and can be applied for genome-wide predictions of Pol-II promoters.