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Cluster analysis of p53 binding site sequences reveals subsets with different functions

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Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Informatics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2016

Abstract

p53 is an important regulator of cell cycle arrest, senescence, apoptosis and metabolism, and is frequently mutated in tumours. It functions as a tetramer, where each component dimer binds to a decameric DNA region known as a response element. We identify p53 binding site subtypes and examine the functional and evolutionary properties of these subtypes. We start with over 1700 known binding sites and, with no prior labelling, identify two sets of response elements by unsupervised clustering. When combined they give rise to three types of p53 binding site. We find that probabilistic and alignment-based assessments of cross-species conservation show no strong evidence of differential conservation between types of binding site. In contrast, functional analysis of the genes most proximal to the binding sites provides strong bioinformatic evidence of functional differentiation between the three types of binding site. Our results are consistent with recent structural data identifying two conformations of the L1 loop in the DNA binding domain, suggesting that they reflect biologically meaningful groups imposed by the p53 protein structure.

    Research areas

  • p53, transcription factor, protein-DNA interaction, DNA sequence, cluster analysis, function, conservation, human genome

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