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Journal of Computer Science and Technology 2010, Vol. 25 Issue (1) :26-34    DOI:
Special Issue on Computational Challenges from Modern Molecular Biology Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search << Previous Articles | Next Articles >>
Challenges in Understanding Genome-Wide DNA Methylation
Michael Q. Zhang1,2 (张奇伟) and Andrew D. Smith3, Member, ACM
1Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, U.S.A.
2Bioinformatics Division, TNLIST and MOE Key Lab of Bioinformatics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

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DNA methylation is a chemical modification of the bases in genomes. This modification, most frequently found at CpG dinucleotides in eukaryotes, has been identified as having multiple critical functions in broad and diverse species of animals and plants, while mysteriously appears to be lacking from several other well-studied species. DNA methylation has well known and important roles in genome stability and defense, its pattern change highly correlates with gene regulation. Much evidence has linked abnormal DNA methylation to human diseases. Most prominently, aberrant DNA methylation is a common feature of cancer genomes. Elucidating the precise functions of DNA methylation therefore has great biomedical significance. Here we provide an update on large-scale experimental technologies for detecting DNA methylation on a genomic scale. We also discuss new prospect and challenges that computational biologist will face when analyzing DNA methylation data.

Articles by authors
Michael Q. Zhang
Andrew D. Smith
KeywordsDNA methylation    epigenome    computational epigenomics     
Received 2009-11-19;

This work is supported by NIH under Grant Nos. ES017166 and HG001696.

Cite this article:   
Michael Q. Zhang and Andrew D. Smith, Member, ACM .Challenges in Understanding Genome-Wide DNA Methylation[J]  Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2010,V25(1): 26-34
Copyright 2010 by Journal of Computer Science and Technology