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In Methods (San Diego, Calif.)

Epigenetics is mainly comprised of features that regulate genomic interactions thereby playing a crucial role in a vast array of biological processes. Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modifications influence gene expression by modulating the packaging of DNA in the nucleus. A plethora of studies have emphasized the importance of analyzing epigenetics data through genome-wide studies and high-throughput approaches, thereby providing key insights towards epigenetics-based diseases such as cancer. Recent advancements have been made towards translating epigenetics research into a high throughput approach such as genome-scale profiling. Amongst all, bioinformatics plays a pivotal role in achieving epigenetics-related computational studies. Despite significant advancements towards epigenomic profiling, it is challenging to understand how various epigenetic modifications such as chromatin modifications and DNA methylation regulate gene expression. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) provides accurate and parallel sequencing thereby allowing researchers to comprehend epigenomic profiling. In this review, we summarize different computational methods such as machine learning and other bioinformatics tools, publicly available databases and resources to identify key modifications associated with epigenetic machinery. Additionally, the review also focuses on understanding recent methodologies related to epigenome profiling using NGS methods ranging from library preparation, different sequencing platforms and analytical techniques to evaluate various epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation and histone modifications. We also provide detailed information on bioinformatics tools and computational strategies responsible for analyzing large scale data in epigenetics.

Arora Itika, Tollefsbol Trygve O


DNA methylation, Epigenetics, Next-generation sequencing, computational epigenetics, epigenome, histone modifications, machine learning, transcriptional regulation