Imputation for transcription factor binding predictions based on deep learning

PLoS Computational Biology
Qian Qin, Jianxing Feng


Understanding the cell-specific binding patterns of transcription factors (TFs) is fundamental to studying gene regulatory networks in biological systems, for which ChIP-seq not only provides valuable data but is also considered as the gold standard. Despite tremendous efforts from the scientific community to conduct TF ChIP-seq experiments, the available data represent only a limited percentage of ChIP-seq experiments, considering all possible combinations of TFs and cell lines. In this study, we demonstrate a method for accurately predicting cell-specific TF binding for TF-cell line combinations based on only a small fraction (4%) of the combinations using available ChIP-seq data. The proposed model, termed TFImpute, is based on a deep neural network with a multi-task learning setting to borrow information across transcription factors and cell lines. Compared with existing methods, TFImpute achieves comparable accuracy on TF-cell line combinations with ChIP-seq data; moreover, TFImpute achieves better accuracy on TF-cell line combinations without ChIP-seq data. This approach can predict cell line specific enhancer activities in K562 and HepG2 cell lines, as measured by massively parallel reporter assays, and predicts the impa...Continue Reading


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