MAGGIE: leveraging genetic variation to identify DNA sequence motifs mediating transcription factor binding and function
Genetic variation in regulatory elements can alter transcription factor (TF) binding by mutating a TF binding motif, which in turn may affect the activity of the regulatory elements. However, it is unclear which TFs are prone to be affected by a given variant. Current motif analysis tools either prioritize TFs based on motif enrichment without linking to a function or are limited in their applications due to the assumption of linearity between motifs and their functional effects. Here, we
... cts. Here, we present MAGGIE, a novel method for identifying motifs mediating TF binding and function. By leveraging measurements from diverse genotypes, MAGGIE uses a statistical approach to link mutation of a motif to changes of an epigenomic feature without assuming a linear relationship. We benchmark MAGGIE across various applications using both simulated and biological datasets and demonstrate its improvement in sensitivity and specificity compared to the state-of-the-art motif analysis approaches. We use MAGGIE to reveal insights into the divergent functions of distinct NF-κB factors in the pro-inflammatory macrophages, showing its promise in discovering novel functions of TFs. The Python package for MAGGIE is freely available at https://github.com/zeyang-shen/maggie.