In a joint publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) above groups show how new bioinformatics approaches allow rapid characterization of shared promoter structures which can be used to find novel interacting molecules. Here, these principles are applied to a set of genes linked to the unique functional unit of the glomerular slit diaphragm. An evolutionarily conserved promoter model was generated. Genome-wide scans using this promoter model effectively predicted a previously unrecognized slit diaphragm molecule which was then experimentally verified.
This publication shows a straightforward approach how comparative promoter analysis can identify regulatory pathways at work in tissue homeostasis and disease processes.
It is available online before print under the PNAS Early Edition program at http://www.