create-priors [options] <sequence file> <wiggle file>


The program create-priors takes as input a series of numeric values defined with respect to one or more DNA sequences. The program converts the data into a probabilistic prior using the method described in:

Gabriel Cuellar-Partida, Fabian A. Buske, Robert C. McLeay, Tom Whitington, William Stafford Noble, and Timothy L. Bailey,
"Epigenetic priors for identifying active transcription factor binding sites",
Bioinformatics 28(1): 56-62, 2012 [pdf]

A binned distribution for the priors is also generated. Examples of input data types include sequence tags counts from a DNaseI hypersensitivity or histone modification ChIP-seq assay, or sequence conservation scores.

The prior and the prior distribution files can be used as supplementary input to FIMO and MCAST, improving the quality of their search results.


<sequence file>

The name of a file he name of a file containing FASTA formatted sequences.

<wiggle file>

The name of a file in wiggle format containing the scores that will be converted to priors.

The sequences in the wiggle file should be a subset of the sequences included in the sequence file. The wiggle file need not contain scores for every position in the sequence file, but the sequences must be in the same order. Any positions missing from the input wiggle file will be assigned the median prior computed from the observed scores.


create-priors will create a directory, named create-priors_out by default. Any existing output files in the directory will be overwritten. The directory will contain:

The default output directory can be overridden using the --o or --oc options which are described below.


Option Parameter Description Default Behavior
General Options
--alphanum The alpha parameter for calculating position-specific priors. Alpha represents the fraction of all transcription factor binding sites that are binding sites for the TF of interest. Alpha must be between 0 and 1. The default value is 1.0.
--betanum The beta parameter for calculating position-specific priors. Beta represents an estimate of the total number of binding sites for all transcription factors in the input data. Beta must be greater than 0. The default value is 10000.
--numbinsn Number of bins to use in prior distribution file. The default value is 100.
--psp  Directs create-priors to also output the priors in MEME PSP format. The name of the output file will be create-priors.psp. This format is only suitable when the number of positions is relatively small.