Alvis Brazma, Jaak Vilo, Esko Ukkonen, and Kimmo Valtonen
We have examined methods and developed a general software tool for finding and analyzing combinations of transcription factor binding sites that occur relatively often in gene upstream regions (putative promoter regions) in the yeast genome. Such frequently occurring combinations may be essential parts of possible promotet classes. The regions upstream to all genes were first isolated from the yeast genome database MIPS using the information in the annotation files of the database. The ones that do not overlap with coding regions were chosen for further studies. Next, all occurrences of the yeast transcription factor binding sites, as given in the IMD database, were located in the genome and in the selected regions in particular. Finally, by using a general purpose data mining software in combination with our own software, which parametrizes the search, we can find the combinations of binding sites that occur in the upstream regions more frequently than would be expected on the basis of the frequency of individual sites. The procedure also finds so-called association rules present in such combinations. The developed tool is available for use through the WWW.