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 27-Nov-2007   Stampa la pagina corrente   Mostra la posizione di questa pagina nella mappa

Genome-Wide Analysis of Promoters

While the coding regions of the DNA has been widely investigated during the last years, the attention has recently been focused of the non-coding sequences. Indeed, it has been found that the non-coding DNA contains important functional elements that mainly concern regulatory activities and changes in gene expression. In the presence of this new challenging scenario, our research focuses on a genome-wide analysis of H. sapiens promoters, portions of the DNA located upstream of the transcription start site. To this aim, we developed and combined two mathematical methods that allow us to (i) classify promoters into groups characterized by specific global structural features, and (ii) recover, in full generality, any regular sequence in the different classes of promoters. One of the main findings of this analysis is that H. sapiens promoters can be classified into three main groups. Two of them are distinguished by the prevalence of weak or strong nucleotides and are characterized by short compositionally biased sequences, while the most frequent regular sequences in the third group are strongly correlated with transposons. Taking advantage of the generality of these mathematical procedures, we have compared the promoter database of H. sapiens with those of other species. We have found that the above-mentioned features characterize also the evolutionary content appearing in mammalian promoters, at variance with ancestral species in the phylogenetic tree, that exhibit a definitely lower level of differentiation among promoters.
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