Deriving Non–homogeneous DNA Markov Chain Models by Cluster Analysis Algorithm Minimizing Multiple Alignment Entropy
Non-homogeneous Markov chain models can represent biologically important regions of DNA sequences. The statistical pattern that is described by these models is usually weak and was found primarily because of strong biological indications. The general method for extracting similar patterns is presented in the current paper. The algorithm incorporates cluster analysis, multiple alignment and entropy minimization. The method was first tested using the set of DNA sequences produced by Markov chain generators. It was shown that artificial gene sequences, which initially have been randomly set up along the multiple alignment panels, are aligned according to the hidden triplet phase. Then the method was applied to real protein-coding sequences and the resulting alignment clearly indicated the triplet phase and produced the parameters of the optimal 3-periodic non-homogeneous Markov chain model. These Markov models were already employed in the GeneMark gene prediction algorithm, which is used in genome sequencing projects. The algorithm can also handle the case in which the sequences to be aligned reveal different statistical patterns, such as Escherichia co/i protein-coding sequences belonging to Class II and Class III. The algorithm accepts a random mix of sequences from different classes, and is able to separate them into two groups (clusters), align each cluster separately, and define a non-homogeneous Markov chain model for each sequence cluster.