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Identification of long regulatory elements in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum and other eukaryotes

Abstract : Long regulatory elements (LREs), such as CpG islands, polydA:dT tracts or AU-rich elements, are thought to play key roles in gene regulation but, as opposed to conventional binding sites of transcription factors, few methods have been proposed to formally and automatically characterize them. We present here a computational approach named DExTER dedicated to the identification of LREs and apply it to the analysis of the genomes of different eukaryotes including P. falciparum . Our analyses show that all tested genomes contain several LREs that are somewhat conserved along evolution, and that gene expression can be predicted with surprising accuracy on the basis of these long regions only. Regulation by LREs exhibits very different behaviours depending on species and conditions. On Apicomplexa organisms, the process appears highly dynamic, with different LREs involved at different phases of their life cycle. For multicellular organisms, the same LREs are involved in all tissues, but a dynamic behavior is observed along embryonic development stages. In P. falciparum , whose genome is known to be strongly depleted of transcription factors, LREs appear to be of especially high importance, and our analyses show that they are involved in both transcriptomic and post-transcriptomic regulation mechanisms. Moreover, we demonstrated the biological relevance of one the LREs discovered by DExTER in P. falciparum using an in vivo reporter assay. The source code (python) of DExTER is available at address https://gite.lirmm.fr/menichelli/DExTER .
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03024898
Contributor : Charles-Henri Lecellier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 9:42:56 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 5:10:30 PM

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Christophe Menichelli, Vincent Guitard, Rafael Martins, Sophie Lèbre, José‑juan Lopez‑rubio, et al.. Identification of long regulatory elements in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum and other eukaryotes. 2020. ⟨hal-03024898⟩

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