ChroGPS is a software application that serves to facilitate the analysis and understanding of epigenetic data and to extract intelligible information, which can be downloaded free of charge in Bioconductor, a reference repository for biocomputational software. The scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) describe the uses of the programme in an article published in the journal Nucleic Acids Research, in which they explain that ChroGPS is the answer to a problem that has been dragging on for the last ten years.
In the last 15 years, researchers worldwide have generated a large amount of information about the epigenome: proteins, factors and epigenetic markers which, when bound to DNA, regulate gene expression. Enormous projects such as ENCODE (for humans and mice) or modENCODE (for other lab model systems, such as the fly Drosophila or the worm C. elegans) have been devoted to collecting these data in order to analyse and interpret them in the framework of genomic data and to form hypotheses about functions and relations. In spite of these efforts, tools are still needed to extract functional and relational information about the epigenome and to present the results in a visual manner, as ChroGPS does.
"With ChroGPS we wanted to integrate epigenetic data with genetic data to reap the great benefits from them and to be able to understand this information. The analyses continue to be extremely complex and the results to be interpreted very unclear," says Ferran Azorn, head of the Chromatin Structure and Function lab at IRB Barcelona and CSIC researcher professor, who studies epigenomic regulation. "With this tool we have reached the same conclusions as those presented in Nature by researchers working on the modENCODE, but the enormous difference is that instead of seeing the information in hundreds of graphs and figures like in modENC
|Contact: Sònia Armengou|
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)