Quantifying local randomness in human DNA and RNA sequences using Erdös motifs.


The Robert S. Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health, Manhasset, NY, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


In 1932, Paul Erdös asked whether a random walk constructed from a binary sequence can achieve the lowest possible deviation (lowest discrepancy), for the sequence itself and for all its subsequences formed by homogeneous arithmetic progressions. Although avoiding low discrepancy is impossible for infinite sequences, as recently proven by Terence Tao, attempts were made to construct such sequences with finite lengths. We recognize that such constructed sequences (we call these "Erdös sequences") exhibit certain hallmarks of randomness at the local level: they show roughly equal frequencies of short subsequences, and at the same time exclude trivial periodic patterns. For the human DNA we examine the frequency of a set of Erdös motifs of length-10 using three nucleotides-to-binary mappings. The particular length-10 Erdös sequence is derived from the length-11 Mathias sequence and is identical with the first 10 digits of the Thue-Morse sequence, underscoring the fact that both are deficient in periodicities. Our calculations indicate that: (1) the purine(A and G)/pyridimine(C and T) based Erdös motifs are greatly underrepresented in the human genome, (2) the strong(G and C)/weak(A and T) based Erdös motifs are slightly overrepresented, (3) the densities of the two are negatively correlated, (4) the Erdös motifs based on all three mappings being combined are slightly underrepresented, and (5) the strong/weak based Erdös motifs are greatly overrepresented in the human messenger RNA sequences.


DNA motifs,Erdös discrepancy problem,Human genome,Local randomness,