Identifying a maximum of DNA determinants implicated in gene regulation will accelerate genetic analyses and precision medicine approaches by identifying key gene features. In that context decoding the sequence-level instructions for gene regulation is of prime importance. Among global efforts to achieve this objective, we propose a novel approach able to explain gene expression in each patient sample using only DNA features.
Our approach, which is as accurate as methods based on epigenetics data, reveals a strong influence of the nucleotide content of gene body sequences, in particular introns. In contrast to canonical regulations mediated by specific DNA motifs, our model unveils a contribution of global nucleotide content notably in co-regulations associated with genome 3D architecture and to associations of genes within topologically associated domains. Overall our study confirms and takes advantage of the existence of sequence-level instructions for gene expression, which lie in genomic regions largely underestimated in regulatory genomics but which appear to be linked to chromatin architecture.
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Bessière C, Taha M, Petitprez F, Vandel J, Marin JM, Bréhélin L, Lèbre S, Lecellier CH.
Probing instructions for expression regulation in gene nucleotide compositions.