X-inactivation: quantitative predictions of protein interactions in the Xist network
The transcriptional silencing of one of the female X-chromosomes is a finely regulated process that requires accumulation in cis of the long non-coding RNA X-inactive-specific transcript (Xist) followed by a series of epigenetic modifications. Little is known about the molecular machinery regulating initiation and maintenance of chromosomal silencing. Here, we introduce a new version of our algorithm catRAPID to investigate Xist associations with a number of proteins involved in epigenetic regulation, nuclear scaffolding, transcription and splicing processes. Our method correctly identifies binding regions and affinities of protein interactions, providing a powerful theoretical framework for the study of X-chromosome inactivation and other events mediated by ribonucleoprotein associations.