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In Silico Biol. 2003;3(3):235-40.

The CpG island searcher: a new WWW resource.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


Clusters of CpG dinucleotides in GC rich regions of the genome called "CpG islands" frequently occur in the 5' ends of genes. Methylation of CpG islands plays a role in transcriptional silencing in higher organisms in certain situations. We have established a CpG-island-extraction algorithm, which we previously developed [Takai and Jones, 2002], on a web site which has a simple user interface to identify CpG islands from submitted sequences of up to 50kb. The web site determines the locations of CpG islands using parameters (lower limit of %GC, ObsCpG/ExpCpG, length) set by the user, to display the value of parameters on each CpG island, and provides a graphical map of CpG dinucleotide distribution and borders of CpG islands. A command-line version of the CpG islands searcher has also been developed for larger sequences. The CpG Island Searcher was applied to the latest sequence and mapping information of human chromosomes 20, 21 and 22, and a total of 2345 CpG islands were extracted and 534 (23%) of them contained first coding exons and 650 (28%) contained other exons. The CpG Island Searcher is available on the World Wide Web at or

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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