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FIREcaller: Detecting Frequently Interacting Regions from Hi-C Data

By Cheynna Crowley, Yuchen Yang, Yunjiang Qiu, Benxia Hu, Armen Abnousi, Jakub Lipiński, Dariusz Plewczyński, Di Wu, Hyejung Won, Bing Ren, Ming Hu, Yun Li

Posted 29 Apr 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/619288

Hi-C experiments have been widely adopted to study chromatin spatial organization, which plays an essential role in genome function. We have recently identified frequently interacting regions (FIREs) and found that they are closely associated with cell-type-specific gene regulation. However, computational tools for detecting FIREs from Hi-C data are still lacking. In this work, we present FIREcaller, a stand-alone, user-friendly R package for detecting FIREs from Hi-C data. FIREcaller takes raw Hi-C contact matrices as input, performs within-sample and cross-sample normalization, and outputs continuous FIRE scores, dichotomous FIREs, and super-FIREs. Applying FIREcaller to Hi-C data from various human tissues, we demonstrate that FIREs and super-FIREs identified, in a tissue-specific manner, are closely related to gene regulation, are enriched for enhancer-promoter (E-P) interactions, tend to overlap with regions exhibiting epigenomic signatures of cis-regulatory roles, and aid the interpretation or GWAS variants. The FIREcaller package is implemented in R and freely available at https://yunliweb.its.unc.edu/FIREcaller. Highlights- Frequently Interacting Regions (FIREs) can be used to identify tissue and cell-type-specific cis-regulatory regions. - An R software, FIREcaller, has been developed to identify FIREs and clustered FIREs into super-FIREs.

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