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1.  PING 2.0: an R/Bioconductor package for nucleosome positioning using next-generation sequencing data 
Bioinformatics  2013;29(16):2049-2050.
Summary: MNase-Seq and ChIP-Seq have evolved as popular techniques to study chromatin and histone modification. Although many tools have been developed to identify enriched regions, software tools for nucleosome positioning are still limited. We introduce a flexible and powerful open-source R package, PING 2.0, for nucleosome positioning using MNase-Seq data or MNase– or sonicated– ChIP-Seq data combined with either single-end or paired-end sequencing. PING uses a model-based approach, which enables nucleosome predictions even in the presence of low read counts. We illustrate PING using two paired-end datasets from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and compare its performance with nucleR and ChIPseqR.
Availability: PING 2.0 is available from the Bioconductor website at It can run on Linux, Mac and Windows.
Supplementary Information: Supplementary material is available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC3722530  PMID: 23786769
2.  Serum PARC/CCL-18 Concentrations and Health Outcomes in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 
Rationale: There are no accepted blood-based biomarkers in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pulmonary and activation-regulated chemokine (PARC/CCL-18) is a lung-predominant inflammatory protein that is found in serum.
Objectives: To determine whether PARC/CCL-18 levels are elevated and modifiable in COPD and to determine their relationship to clinical end points of hospitalization and mortality.
Methods: PARC/CCL-18 was measured in serum samples from individuals who participated in the ECLIPSE (Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints) and LHS (Lung Health Study) studies and a prednisolone intervention study.
Measurements and Main Results: Serum PARC/CCL-18 levels were higher in subjects with COPD than in smokers or lifetime nonsmokers without COPD (105 vs. 81 vs. 80 ng/ml, respectively; P < 0.0001). Elevated PARC/CCL-18 levels were associated with increased risk of cardiovascular hospitalization or mortality in the LHS cohort and with total mortality in the ECLIPSE cohort.
Conclusions: Serum PARC/CCL-18 levels are elevated in COPD and track clinical outcomes. PARC/CCL-18, a lung-predominant chemokine, could be a useful blood biomarker in COPD.
Clinical trial registered with (NCT 00292552).
PMCID: PMC3114051  PMID: 21216880
biomarker; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; PARC/CCL-18; chemokine
3.  Probabilistic Inference for Nucleosome Positioning with MNase-Based or Sonicated Short-Read Data 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e32095.
We describe a model-based method, PING, for predicting nucleosome positions in MNase-Seq and MNase- or sonicated-ChIP-Seq data. PING compares favorably to NPS and TemplateFilter in scalability, accuracy and robustness to low read density. To demonstrate that PING predictions from widely available sonicated data can have sufficient spatial resolution to be to be useful for biological inference, we use Illumina H3K4me1 ChIP-seq data to detect changes in nucleosome positioning around transcription factor binding sites due to tamoxifen stimulation, to discriminate functional and non-functional transcription factor binding sites more effectively than with enrichment profiles, and to confirm that the pioneer transcription factor Foxa2 associates with the accessible major groove of nucleosomal DNA.
PMCID: PMC3290535  PMID: 22393380
4.  An Integrated Pipeline for the Genome-Wide Analysis of Transcription Factor Binding Sites from ChIP-Seq 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(2):e16432.
ChIP-Seq has become the standard method for genome-wide profiling DNA association of transcription factors. To simplify analyzing and interpreting ChIP-Seq data, which typically involves using multiple applications, we describe an integrated, open source, R-based analysis pipeline. The pipeline addresses data input, peak detection, sequence and motif analysis, visualization, and data export, and can readily be extended via other R and Bioconductor packages. Using a standard multicore computer, it can be used with datasets consisting of tens of thousands of enriched regions. We demonstrate its effectiveness on published human ChIP-Seq datasets for FOXA1, ER, CTCF and STAT1, where it detected co-occurring motifs that were consistent with the literature but not detected by other methods. Our pipeline provides the first complete set of Bioconductor tools for sequence and motif analysis of ChIP-Seq and ChIP-chip data.
PMCID: PMC3040171  PMID: 21358819
5.  Associations of IL6 polymorphisms with lung function decline and COPD 
Thorax  2009;64(8):698-704.
Interleukin-6 (IL6) is a pleiotropic pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokine which likely plays an important role in the pathogenesis of COPD. There is a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), −174G/C, in the promoter region of IL6. We hypothesized that IL6 SNPs influence susceptibility for impaired lung function and COPD in smokers.
Seven and 5 SNPs in IL6 were genotyped in two nested case-control samples derived from the Lung Health Study (LHS) based on phenotypes of rate of decline of forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) over 5 years and baseline FEV1 at the beginning of the LHS. Serum IL6 concentrations were measured for all subjects. A partially overlapping panel of 9 IL6 SNPs was genotyped in 389 COPD cases from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT) and 420 controls from the Normative Aging Study (NAS).
In the LHS, three IL6 SNPs were associated with FEV1 decline (0.023 ≤ P ≤ 0.041 in additive models). Among them the IL6_−174C allele was associated with rapid decline of lung function. The association was more significant in a genotype-based analysis (P = 0.006). In the NETT-NAS study, IL6_−174G/C and four other IL6 SNPs, all of which are in linkage disequilibrium with IL6_−174G/C, were associated with susceptibility to COPD (0.01 ≤ P ≤ 0.04 in additive genetic models).
Our results suggest that the IL6_−174G/C SNP is associated with rapid decline of FEV1 and susceptibility to COPD in smokers.
PMCID: PMC2859187  PMID: 19359268
genetic polymorphism; IL6; forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1); lung function; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Results 1-5 (5)