An automated method for detecting alternatively spliced protein domains.

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An automated method for detecting alternatively spliced protein domains.

Bioinformatics. 2018 Jun 01;:

Authors: Coelho V, Sammeth M

Abstract
Motivation: Alternative splicing (AS) has been demonstrated to play a role in shaping eukaryotic gene diversity at the transcriptional level. However, the impact of AS on the proteome is still controversial. Studies that seek to explore the effect of AS at the proteomic level are hampered by technical difficulties in the cumbersome process of casting forth and back between genome, transcriptome and proteome space coordinates, and the naïve prediction of protein domains in the presence of AS suffers many redundant sequence scans that emerge from constitutively spliced regions that are shared between alternative products of a gene.
Results: We developed the AstaFunk pipeline that computes for every generic transcriptome all domains that are altered by AS events in a systematic and efficient manner. In a nutshell, our method employs Viterbi dynamic programming, which guarantees to find all score-optimal hits of the domains under consideration, while complementary optimisations at different levels avoid redundant and other irrelevant computations. We evaluate AstaFunk qualitatively and quantitatively using RNAseq in well-studied genes with AS, and on large-scale employing entire transcriptomes. Our study confirms complementary reports that the effect of most AS events on the proteome seems to be rather limited, but our results also pinpoint several cases where AS could have a major impact on the function of a protein domain.
Availability: The JAVA implementation of AstaFunk is available as an open source project on http://astafunk.sammeth.net.
Contact: micha@sammeth.net.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

PMID: 29868795 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Comparative Genomics in Drosophila.

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Comparative Genomics in Drosophila.

Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1704:433-450

Authors: Oti M, Pane A, Sammeth M

Abstract
Since the pioneering studies of Thomas Hunt Morgan and coworkers at the dawn of the twentieth century, Drosophila melanogaster and its sister species have tremendously contributed to unveil the rules underlying animal genetics, development, behavior, evolution, and human disease. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technologies launched Drosophila into the post-genomic era and paved the way for unprecedented comparative genomics investigations. The complete sequencing and systematic comparison of the genomes from 12 Drosophila species represents a milestone achievement in modern biology, which allowed a plethora of different studies ranging from the annotation of known and novel genomic features to the evolution of chromosomes and, ultimately, of entire genomes. Despite the efforts of countless laboratories worldwide, the vast amount of data that were produced over the past 15 years is far from being fully explored.In this chapter, we will review some of the bioinformatic approaches that were developed to interrogate the genomes of the 12 Drosophila species. Setting off from alignments of the entire genomic sequences, the degree of conservation can be separately evaluated for every region of the genome, providing already first hints about elements that are under purifying selection and therefore likely functional. Furthermore, the careful analysis of repeated sequences sheds light on the evolutionary dynamics of transposons, an enigmatic and fascinating class of mobile elements housed in the genomes of animals and plants. Comparative genomics also aids in the computational identification of the transcriptionally active part of the genome, first and foremost of protein-coding loci, but also of transcribed nevertheless apparently noncoding regions, which were once considered "junk" DNA. Eventually, the synergy between functional and comparative genomics also facilitates in silico and in vivo studies on cis-acting regulatory elements, like transcription factor binding sites, that due to the high degree of sequence variability usually impose increased challenges for bioinformatics approaches.

PMID: 29277877 [PubMed - in process]

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Comparative Genomics in Homo sapiens.

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Comparative Genomics in Homo sapiens.

Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1704:451-472

Authors: Oti M, Sammeth M

Abstract
Genomes can be compared at different levels of divergence, either between species or within species. Within species genomes can be compared between different subpopulations, such as human subpopulations from different continents. Investigating the genomic differences between different human subpopulations is important when studying complex diseases that are affected by many genetic variants, as the variants involved can differ between populations. The 1000 Genomes Project collected genome-scale variation data for 2504 human individuals from 26 different populations, enabling a systematic comparison of variation between human subpopulations. In this chapter, we present step-by-step a basic protocol for the identification of population-specific variants employing the 1000 Genomes data. These variants are subsequently further investigated for those that affect the proteome or RNA splice sites, to investigate potentially biologically relevant differences between the populations.

PMID: 29277878 [PubMed - in process]

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