Technologies for profiling the impact of genomic variants on transcription factor binding


  • J. Leiz
  • M. Rutkiewicz
  • C. Birchmeier
  • U. Heinemann
  • K.M. Schmidt-Ott


  • Medizinische Genetik


  • Med Genet 33 (2): 147-155


  • Transcription factors (TFs) bind DNA in a sequence-specific manner and thereby regulate target gene expression. TF binding and its regulatory activity is highly context dependent, and is not only determined by specific cell types or differentiation stages but also relies on other regulatory mechanisms, such as DNA and chromatin modifications. Interactions between TFs and their DNA binding sites are critical mediators of phenotypic variation and play important roles in the onset of disease. A continuously growing number of studies therefore attempts to elucidate TF:DNA interactions to gain knowledge about regulatory mechanisms and disease-causing variants. Here we summarize how TF-binding characteristics and the impact of variants can be investigated, how bioinformatic tools can be used to analyze and predict TF:DNA binding, and what additional information can be obtained from the TF protein structure