Epigenomic k-mer dictionaries: shedding light on how sequence composition influences in vivo nucleosome positioning.

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Motivation: Information-theoretic and compositional analysis of biological sequences, in terms ofk-mer dictionaries, has a well established role in genomic and proteomic studies. Much less so inepigenomics, although the role of k-mers in chromatin organization and nucleosome positioning isparticularly relevant. Fundamental questions concerning the informational content and compositionalstructure of nucleosome favouring and disfavoring sequences with respect to their basicbuilding blocks still remain open.Results: We present the first analysis on the role of k-mers in the composition of nucleosome enrichedand depleted genomic regions (NER and NDR for short) that is: (i) exhaustive and within thebounds dictated by the information-theoretic content of the sample sets we use and (ii) informativefor comparative epigenomics. We analize four different organisms and we propose a paradigmaticformalization of k-mer dictionaries, providing two different and complementary views of thek-mers involved in NER and NDR. The first extends well known studies in this area, its comparativenature being its major merit. The second, very novel, brings to light the rich variety of k-mersinvolved in influencing nucleosome positioning, for which an initial classification in terms of clustersis also provided. Although such a classification offers many insights, the following deserves tobe singled-out: short poly(dA:dT) tracts are reported in the literature as fundamental for nucleosomedepletion, however a global quantitative look reveals that their role is much less prominentthan one would expect based on previous studies.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2939-2946
Numero di pagine8
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics

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