CpG Islands pp 31-47 | Cite as

Prediction of CpG Islands as an Intrinsic Clustering Property Found in Many Eukaryotic DNA Sequences and Its Relation to DNA Methylation

  • Cristina Gómez-Martín
  • Ricardo Lebrón
  • José L. Oliver
  • Michael HackenbergEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1766)


The promoter region of around 70% of all genes in the human genome is overlapped by a CpG island (CGI). CGIs have known functions in the transcription initiation and outstanding compositional features like high G+C content and CpG ratios when compared to the bulk DNA. We have shown before that CGIs manifest as clusters of CpGs in mammalian genomes and can therefore be detected using clustering methods. These techniques have several advantages over sliding window approaches which apply compositional properties as thresholds. In this protocol we show how to determine local (CpG islands) and global (distance distribution) clustering properties of CG dinucleotides and how to generalize this analysis to any k-mer or combinations of it. In addition, we illustrate how to easily cross the output of a CpG island prediction algorithm with our methylation database to detect differentially methylated CGIs. The analysis is given in a step-by-step protocol and all necessary programs are implemented into a virtual machine or, alternatively, the software can be downloaded and easily installed.

Key words

CpG islands Clustering DNA words DNA methylation Virtual machine 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Gómez-Martín
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ricardo Lebrón
    • 1
    • 2
  • José L. Oliver
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michael Hackenberg
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Genetics, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Lab. de Bioinformática, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, PTSInstituto de BiotecnologíaGranadaSpain

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