BIPAD: A web server for modeling bipartite sequence elements
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Background: Many dimeric protein complexes bind cooperatively to families of bipartite nucleic acid sequence elements, which consist of pairs of conserved half-site sequences separated by intervening distances that vary among individual sites. Results: We introduce the Bipad Server , a web interface to predict sequence elements embedded within unaligned sequences. Either a bipartite model, consisting of a pair of one-block position weight matrices (PWM's) with a gap distribution, or a single PWM matrix for contiguous single block motifs may be produced. The Bipad program performs multiple local alignment by entropy minimization and cyclic refinement using a stochastic greedy search strategy. The best models are refined by maximizing incremental information contents among a set of potential models with varying half site and gap lengths. Conclusion: The web service generates information positional weight matrices, identifies binding site motifs, graphically represents the set of discovered elements as a sequence logo, and depicts the gap distribution as a histogram. Server performance was evaluated by generating a collection of bipartite models for distinct DNA binding proteins. © 2006 Bi and Rogan; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.