Background: Because species-specific gene expression is driven by species-specific regulation, understanding the relationship between sequence and function of the regulatory regions in different species will help elucidate how differences among species arise. Despite active experimental and computational research, relationships among sequence, conservation, and function are still poorly understood. Results: We compared transcription factor occupied segments (TFos) for 116 human and 35 mouse TFs in 546 human and 125 mouse cell types and tissues from the Human and the Mouse ENCODE projects. We based the map between human and mouse TFos on a one-to-one nucleotide cross-species mapper, bnMapper, that utilizes whole genome alignments (WGA). Conclusion: We mapped regulatory sequences from an extensive number of TFs and cell types between human and mouse using WGA. A comparative analysis of this correspondence unveiled the extent of the shared regulatory sequence across TFs and cell types under study. Importantly, a large part of the shared regulatory sequence is repurposed on the other species. This sequence, fueled by turnover events, provides a strong case for exaptation in regulatory elements.
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