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PLOS ONE  2012 

A Novel Alignment-Free Method for Comparing Transcription Factor Binding Site Motifs

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008797

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Transcription factor binding site (TFBS) motifs can be accurately represented by position frequency matrices (PFM) or other equivalent forms. We often need to compare TFBS motifs using their PFMs in order to search for similar motifs in a motif database, or cluster motifs according to their binding preference. The majority of current methods for motif comparison involve a similarity metric for column-to-column comparison and a method to find the optimal position alignment between the two compared motifs. In some applications, alignment-free methods might be preferred; however, few such methods with high accuracy have been described.


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