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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identifying Positioned Nucleosomes with Epigenetic Marks in Human from ChIP-Seq

Yong Zhang1, Hyunjin Shin1, Jun S Song2, Ying Lei1 and X Shirley Liu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard School of Public Health, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115, USA

2 Simons Center for Systems Biology, Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Dr, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:537  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-537

Published: 13 November 2008



In vivo positioning and covalent modifications of nucleosomes play an important role in epigenetic regulation, but genome-wide studies of positioned nucleosomes and their modifications in human still remain limited.


This paper describes a novel computational framework to efficiently identify positioned nucleosomes and their histone modification profiles from nucleosome-resolution histone modification ChIP-Seq data. We applied the algorithm to histone methylation ChIP-Seq data in human CD4+ T cells and identified over 438,000 positioned nucleosomes, which appear predominantly at functionally important regions such as genes, promoters, DNase I hypersensitive regions, and transcription factor binding sites. Our analysis shows the identified nucleosomes play a key role in epigenetic gene regulation within those functionally important regions via their positioning and histone modifications.


Our method provides an effective framework for studying nucleosome positioning and epigenetic marks in mammalian genomes. The algorithm is open source and available at webcite.