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Bioinformatics. 2017 Aug 15;33(16):2570-2572. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btx201.

FunChIP: an R/Bioconductor package for functional classification of ChIP-seq shapes.

Author information

MOX-Department of Mathematics, Politecnico di Milano, Milan 20133, Italy.
Center for Genomic Science of IIT@SEMM, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Milan 20139, Italy.
Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan 20139, Italy.



Chromatin Immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) generates local accumulations of sequencing reads on the genome ("peaks"), which correspond to specific protein-DNA interactions or chromatin modifications. Peaks are detected by considering their total area above a background signal, usually neglecting their shapes, which instead may convey additional biological information. We present FunChIP, an R/Bioconductor package for clustering peaks according to a functional representation of their shapes: after approximating their profiles with cubic B-splines, FunChIP minimizes their functional distance and classifies the peaks applying a k-mean alignment and clustering algorithm. The whole pipeline is user-friendly and provides visualization functions for a quick inspection of the results. An application to the transcription factor Myc in 3T9 murine fibroblasts shows that clusters of peaks with different shapes are associated with different genomic locations and different transcriptional regulatory activity.

Availability and implementation:

The package is implemented in R and is available under Artistic Licence 2.0 from the Bioconductor website (


Supplementary information:

Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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