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Initiation of transcription is essential for most of the cellular responses to environmental conditions and for cell and tissue specificity. This process is regulated through numerous proteins, their ligands and mutual interactions, as well as interactions with DNA. The key such regulatory proteins are transcription factors (TFs) and transcription co-factors (TcoFs). TcoFs are important since they modulate the transcription initiation process through interaction with TFs. In eukaryotes, transcription requires that TFs form different protein complexes with various nuclear proteins. To better understand transcription regulation, it is important to know the functional class of proteins interacting with TFs during transcription initiation. Such information is not fully available, since not all proteins that act as TFs or TcoFs are yet annotated as such, due to generally partial functional annotation of proteins. In this study we have developed a method to predict, using only sequence composition of the interacting proteins, the functional class of human TF binding partners to be (i) TF, (ii) TcoF, or (iii) other nuclear protein. This allows for complementing the annotation of the currently known pool of nuclear proteins. Since only the knowledge of protein sequences is required in addition to protein interaction, the method should be easily applicable to many species. Based on experimentally validated interactions between human TFs with different TFs, TcoFs and other nuclear proteins, our two classification systems (implemented as a web-based application) achieve high accuracies in distinguishing TFs and TcoFs from other nuclear proteins, and TFs from TcoFs respectively. As demonstrated, given the fact that two proteins are capable of forming direct physical interactions and using only information about their sequence composition, we have developed a completely new method for predicting a functional class of TF interacting protein partners with high precision and accuracy.

Citation

Marek J Piatek, Michael C Schramm, Dharani D Burra, Abdulaziz Binshbreen, Boris R Jankovic, Rajesh Chowdhary, John A C Archer, Vladimir B Bajic. Simplified method for predicting a functional class of proteins in transcription factor complexes. PloS one. 2013;8(7):e68857


PMID: 23874789

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