eY1H tools to study mutations and repetitive elements

September 25, 2019

Identifying transcription factor (TF) binding to noncoding variants, uncharacterized DNA motifs, and repetitive genomic elements has been technically and computationally challenging. Current experimental methods, such as chromatin immunoprecipitation, generally test one TF at a time, and computational motif algorithms often lead to false-positive and -negative predictions. To address these limitations, we developed an experimental approach based on enhanced yeast one-hybrid assays. The first variation of this approach interrogates the binding of >1000 human TFs to repetitive DNA elements, while the second evaluates TF binding to single nucleotide variants, short insertions and deletions (indels), and novel DNA motifs. Using this approach, we detected the binding of 75 TFs, including several nuclear hormone receptors and ETS factors, to the highly repetitive Alu elements. Further, we identified cancer-associated changes in TF binding, including gain of interactions involving ETS TFs and loss of interactions involving KLF TFs to different mutations in the TERT promoter, and gain of a MYB interaction with an 18-bp indel in the TAL1superenhancer. Additionally, we identified TFs that bind to three uncharacterized DNA motifs identified in DNase footprinting assays. We anticipate that these enhanced yeast one-hybrid approaches will expand our capabilities to study genetic variation and undercharacterized genomic regions.


Shrestha S, Sewell JA, Santoso CS, Forchielli E, Carrasco Pro S, Martinez M, Fuxman Bass JI. Discovering human transcription factor physical interactions with genetic variants, novel DNA motifs, and repetitive elements using enhanced yeast one-hybrid assays. 


.  2019 Sep 29: 1533-1544; doi:10.1101/gr.248823.119

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Juan Fuxman Bass, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biology


Boston University

5 Cummington mall

Boston, MA 02215

e-mail: fuxman[at]bu.edu

Phone: (617) 353-2448

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