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BMC Bioinformatics

, 15:313

Sequence analysis methods


BackgroundAn organism’s DNA sequence is one of the key factors guiding the positioning of nucleosomes within a cell’s nucleus. Sequence-dependent bending anisotropy dictates how DNA is wrapped around a histone octamer. One of the best established sequence patterns consistent with this anisotropy is the periodic occurrence of AT-containing dinucleotides WW and GC-containing dinucleotides SS in the nucleosomal locations where DNA is bent in the minor and major grooves, respectively. Although this simple pattern has been observed in nucleosomes across eukaryotic genomes, its use for prediction of nucleosome positioning was not systematically tested.

ResultsWe present a simple computational model, termed the W-S scheme, implementing this pattern, without using any training data. This model accurately predicts the rotational positioning of nucleosomes both in vitro and in vivo, in yeast and human genomes. About 65 – 75% of the experimentally observed nucleosome positions are predicted with the precision of one to two base pairs. The program is freely available at scheme-. We also introduce a simple and efficient way to compare the performance of different models predicting the rotational positioning of nucleosomes.

ConclusionsThis paper presents the W-S scheme to achieve accurate prediction of rotational positioning of nucleosomes, solely based on the sequence-dependent anisotropic bending of nucleosomal DNA. This method successfully captures DNA features critical for the rotational positioning of nucleosomes, and can be further improved by incorporating additional terms related to the translational positioning of nucleosomes in a species-specific manner.

KeywordsNucleosomes Rotational positioning Sequence-dependent DNA anisotropy Prediction of nucleosome positioning Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2105-15-313 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Feng Cui - Linlin Chen - Peter R LoVerso - Victor B Zhurkin


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