The first complete genome sequences of eukaryotes revealed that much of the genetic material did not code for protein sequences (Lander et al. 2001; Venter et al. 2001). Although this noncoding DNA was once thought to be junk DNA, it is now appreciated that large portions of it are actively conserved over evolution (Waterston et al. 2002; Johnston and Stormo 2003), suggesting that these regions contain important functional elements. A first hypothesis about the function of this noncoding DNA is that it is involved in the regulation of gene activity. One of the best-understood mechanisms of gene regulation is the modulation of transcriptional initiation by sequence specific DNA binding proteins (or transcription factors). These proteins recognize short sequences in noncoding DNA that fall into families or contain consensus patterns or motifs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science(all)