Publications by authors named "Zhongxia Yan"

2 Publications

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Meta-analysis of massively parallel reporter assays enables prediction of regulatory function across cell types.

Hum Mutat 2019 09 18;40(9):1299-1313. Epub 2019 Jun 18.

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, Center for Computational Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California.

Deciphering the potential of noncoding loci to influence gene regulation has been the subject of intense research, with important implications in understanding genetic underpinnings of human diseases. Massively parallel reporter assays (MPRAs) can measure regulatory activity of thousands of DNA sequences and their variants in a single experiment. With increasing number of publically available MPRA data sets, one can now develop data-driven models which, given a DNA sequence, predict its regulatory activity. Here, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of several MPRA data sets in a variety of cellular contexts. We first applied an ensemble of methods to predict MPRA output in each context and observed that the most predictive features are consistent across data sets. We then demonstrate that predictive models trained in one cellular context can be used to predict MPRA output in another, with loss of accuracy attributed to cell-type-specific features. Finally, we show that our approach achieves top performance in the Fifth Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation "Regulation Saturation" Challenge for predicting effects of single-nucleotide variants. Overall, our analysis provides insights into how MPRA data can be leveraged to highlight functional regulatory regions throughout the genome and can guide effective design of future experiments by better prioritizing regions of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23820DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6771677PMC
September 2019

Integration of multiple epigenomic marks improves prediction of variant impact in saturation mutagenesis reporter assay.

Hum Mutat 2019 09 23;40(9):1280-1291. Epub 2019 Jun 23.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

The integrative analysis of high-throughput reporter assays, machine learning, and profiles of epigenomic chromatin state in a broad array of cells and tissues has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of noncoding regulatory element function and its contribution to human disease. Here, we report results from the CAGI 5 regulation saturation challenge where participants were asked to predict the impact of nucleotide substitution at every base pair within five disease-associated human enhancers and nine disease-associated promoters. A library of mutations covering all bases was generated by saturation mutagenesis and altered activity was assessed in a massively parallel reporter assay (MPRA) in relevant cell lines. Reporter expression was measured relative to plasmid DNA to determine the impact of variants. The challenge was to predict the functional effects of variants on reporter expression. Comparative analysis of the full range of submitted prediction results identifies the most successful models of transcription factor binding sites, machine learning algorithms, and ways to choose among or incorporate diverse datatypes and cell-types for training computational models. These results have the potential to improve the design of future studies on more diverse sets of regulatory elements and aid the interpretation of disease-associated genetic variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23797DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6879779PMC
September 2019