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Wang J.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Lunyak V.V.,Buck Institute for Age Research | Jordan I.K.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Jordan I.K.,PanAmerican Bioinformatics Institute
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

Boundary elements partition eukaryotic chromatin into active and repressive domains, and can also block regulatory interactions between domains. Boundary elements act via diverse mechanisms making accurate feature-based computational predictions difficult. Therefore, we developed an unbiased algorithm that predicts the locations of human boundary elements based on the genomic distributions of chromatin and transcriptional states, as opposed to any intrinsic characteristics that they may possess. Application of our algorithm to ChIP-seq data for histone modifications and RNA Pol II-binding data in human CD4 + T cells resulted in the prediction of 2542 putative chromatin boundary elements genome wide. Predicted boundary elements display two distinct features: first, position-specific open chromatin and histone acetylation that is coincident with the recruitment of sequence-specific DNA-binding factors such as CTCF, EVI1 and YYI, and second, a directional and gradual increase in histone lysine methylation across predicted boundaries coincident with a gain of expression of non-coding RNAs, including examples of boundaries encoded by tRNA and other non-coding RNA genes. Accordingly, a number of the predicted human boundaries may function via the synergistic action of sequence-specific recruitment of transcription factors leading to non-coding RNA transcriptional interference and the blocking of facultative heterochromatin propagation by transcription-associated chromatin remodeling complexes. © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. Source

Conley A.B.,Georgia Institute of Technology | King Jordan I.,Georgia Institute of Technology | King Jordan I.,PanAmerican Bioinformatics Institute
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

Mammalian genomes encode numerous cis-natural antisense transcripts (cis-NATs). The extent to which these cis-NATs are actively regulated and ultimately functionally relevant, as opposed to transcriptional noise, remains a matter of debate. To address this issue, we analyzed the chromatin environment and RNA Pol II binding properties of human cis-NAT promoters genome-wide. Cap analysis of gene expression data were used to identify thousands of cis-NAT promoters, and profiles of nine histone modifications and RNA Pol II binding for these promoters in ENCODE cell types were analyzed using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) data. Active cis-NAT promoters are enriched with activating histone modifications and occupied by RNA Pol II, whereas weak cis-NAT promoters are depleted for both activating modifications and RNA Pol II. The enrichment levels of activating histone modifications and RNA Pol II binding show peaks centered around cis-NAT transcriptional start sites, and the levels of activating histone modifications at cis-NAT promoters are positively correlated with cis-NAT expression levels. Cis-NAT promoters also show highly tissue-specific patterns of expression. These results suggest that human cis-NATs are actively transcribed by the RNA Pol II and that their expression is epigenetically regulated, prerequisites for a functional potential for many of these non-coding RNAs. © 2012 The Author(s). Source

Conley A.B.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Jordan I.K.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Jordan I.K.,PanAmerican Bioinformatics Institute
Mobile DNA | Year: 2012

Background: Transposable elements (TEs) encode sequences necessary for their own transposition, including signals required for the termination of transcription. TE sequences within the introns of human genes show an antisense orientation bias, which has been proposed to reflect selection against TE sequences in the sense orientation owing to their ability to terminate the transcription of host gene transcripts. While there is evidence in support of this model for some elements, the extent to which TE sequences actually terminate transcription of human gene across the genome remains an open question. Results: Using high-throughput sequencing data, we have characterized over 9,000 distinct TE-derived sequences that provide transcription termination sites for 5,747 human genes across eight different cell types. Rarefaction curve analysis suggests that there may be twice as many TE-derived termination sites (TE-TTS) genome-wide among all human cell types. The local chromatin environment for these TE-TTS is similar to that seen for 3 UTR canonical TTS and distinct from the chromatin environment of other intragenic TE sequences. However, those TE-TTS located within the introns of human genes were found to be far more cell type-specific than the canonical TTS. TE-TTS were much more likely to be found in the sense orientation than other intragenic TE sequences of the same TE family and TE-TTS in the sense orientation terminate transcription more efficiently than those found in the antisense orientation. Alu sequences were found to provide a large number of relatively weak TTS, whereas LTR elements provided a smaller number of much stronger TTS. Conclusions: TE sequences provide numerous termination sites to human genes, and TE-derived TTS are particularly cell type-specific. Thus, TE sequences provide a powerful mechanism for the diversification of transcriptional profiles between cell types and among evolutionary lineages, since most TE-TTS are evolutionarily young. The extent of transcription termination by TEs seen here, along with the preference for sense-oriented TE insertions to provide TTS, is consistent with the observed antisense orientation bias of human TEs. © 2012 Conley and Jordan; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Wang J.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Lunyak V.V.,Buck Institute for Age Research | King Jordan I.,Georgia Institute of Technology | King Jordan I.,PanAmerican Bioinformatics Institute
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

We report on the development of an unsupervised algorithm for the genome-wide discovery and analysis of chromatin signatures. Our Chromatin-profile Alignment followed by Tree-clustering algorithm (ChAT) employs dynamic programming of combinatorial histone modification profiles to identify locally similar chromatin sub-regions and provides complementary utility with respect to existing methods. We applied ChAT to genomic maps of 39 histone modifications in human CD4+ T cells to identify both known and novel chromatin signatures. ChAT was able to detect chromatin signatures previously associated with transcription start sites and enhancers as well as novel signatures associated with a variety of regulatory elements. Promoter-associated signatures discovered with ChAT indicate that complex chromatin signatures, made up of numerous co-located histone modifications, facilitate cell-type specific gene expression. The discovery of novel L1 retrotransposon-associated bivalent chromatin signatures suggests that these elements influence the mono-allelic expression of human genes by shaping the chromatin environment of imprinted genomic regions. Analysis of long gene-associated chromatin signatures point to a role for the H4K20me1 and H3K79me3 histone modifications in transcriptional pause release. The novel chromatin signatures and functional associations uncovered by ChAT underscore the ability of the algorithm to yield novel insight on chromatin-based regulatory mechanisms. © 2012 The Author(s). Source

Wang J.,Georgia Institute of Technology | Lunyak V.V.,Buck Institute for Age Research | King Jordan I.,Georgia Institute of Technology | King Jordan I.,PanAmerican Bioinformatics Institute
Bioinformatics | Year: 2013

Although some histone modification chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) signals show abrupt peaks across narrow and specific genomic locations, others have diffuse distributions along chromosomes, and their large contiguous enrichment landscapes are better modeled as broad peaks. Here, we present BroadPeak, an algorithm for the identification of such broad peaks from diffuse ChIP-seq datasets. We show that BroadPeak is a linear time algorithm that requires only two parameters, and we validate its performance on real and simulated histone modification ChIP-seq datasets. BroadPeak calls peaks that are highly coincident with both the underlying ChIP-seq tag count distributions and relevant biological features, such as the gene bodies of actively transcribed genes, and it shows superior overall recall and precision of known broad peaks from simulated datasets.Availability: The source code and documentations are available at http://jordan.biology.gatech. edu/page/software/broadpeak/. © 2013 The Author. Source

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