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Mahmud, A.K.M.F., Yang, D., Stenberg, P., Ioshikhes, I., Nandi, S. (2020). Exploring a Drosophila Transcription Factor Interaction Network to Identify Cis-Regulatory Modules.  J. Comput. Biol. 27(8): 1313--1328.
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Multiple transcription factors (TFs) bind to specific sites in the genome and interact among themselves to form the cis-regulatory modules (CRMs). They are essential in modulating the expression of genes, and it is important to study this interplay to understand gene regulation. In the present study, we integrated experimentally identified TF binding sites collected from published studies with computationally predicted TF binding sites to identify Drosophila CRMs. Along with the detection of the previously known CRMs, this approach identified novel protein combinations. We determined high-occupancy target sites, where a large number of TFs bind. Investigating these sites revealed that Giant, Dichaete, and Knirp are highly enriched in these locations. A common TAG team motif was observed at these sites, which might play a role in recruiting other TFs. While comparing the binding sites at distal and proximal promoters, we found that certain regulatory TFs, such as Zelda, were highly enriched in enhancers. Our study has shown that, from the information available concerning the TF binding sites, the real CRMs could be predicted accurately and efficiently. Although we only may claim co-occurrence of these proteins in this study, it may actually point to their interaction (as known interaction proteins typically co-occur together). Such an integrative approach can, therefore, help us to provide a better understanding of the interplay among the factors, even though further experimental verification is required.

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    J. Comput. Biol.
    Journal of Computational Biology
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