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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Genome-wide profiling of chromatin accessibility by DNase-seq or ATAC-seq has been widely used to identify regulatory DNA elements and transcription factor binding sites. However, enzymatic DNA cleavage exhibits intrinsic sequence biases that confound chromatin accessibility profiling data analysis. Existing computational tools are limited in their ability to account for such intrinsic biases and not designed for analyzing single-cell data. Here, we present Simplex Encoded Linear Model for Accessible Chromatin (SELMA), a computational method for systematic estimation of intrinsic cleavage biases from genomic chromatin accessibility profiling data. We demonstrate that SELMA yields accurate and robust bias estimation from both bulk and single-cell DNase-seq and ATAC-seq data. SELMA can utilize internal mitochondrial DNA data to improve bias estimation. We show that transcription factor binding inference from DNase footprints can be improved by incorporating estimated biases using SELMA. Furthermore, we show strong effects of intrinsic biases in single-cell ATAC-seq data, and develop the first single-cell ATAC-seq intrinsic bias correction model to improve cell clustering. SELMA can enhance the performance of existing bioinformatics tools and improve the analysis of both bulk and single-cell chromatin accessibility sequencing data.

  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. Proteins achieve their complex functions, such as molecular recognition with high affinity and specificity, through intricate three-dimensional geometries in functional sites. To engineer new protein functions, accurate positioning of amino acid functional groups is therefore critical but has remained difficult to achieve by computational methods because of current limitations in the design of new conformations with arbitrary user-defined geometries. Here, we introduce two computational methods capable of generating and predicting new local protein geometries: fragment kinematic closure (FKIC) and loophash kinematic closure (LHKIC). FKIC and LHKIC integrate two approaches: robotics-inspired kinematics of protein conformations and insertion of peptide fragments. We show that FKIC and LHKIC predict native-like conformations at atomic accuracy and with up to 140-fold improvements in sampling efficiency over previous approaches. We then use these methods to create a design protocol, pull into place (PIP), to position functionally important side chains via design of backbone conformations. We validate PIP by remodeling a sizeable active site region in an enzyme and confirming the engineered new conformations of two designs with crystal structures. The described methods can be applied broadly to the design of user-defined geometries for new protein functions.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 15, 2023
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 22, 2022