A generalized linear model for peak calling in ChIP-Seq data

Jialin Xu, Yu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq) has become a routine for detecting genome-wide protein-DNA interaction. The success of ChIP-Seq data analysis highly depends on the quality of peak calling (i.e., to detect peaks of tag counts at a genomic location and evaluate if the peak corresponds to a real protein-DNA interaction event). The challenges in peak calling include (1) how to combine the forward and the reverse strand tag data to improve the power of peak calling and (2) how to account for the variation of tag data observed across different genomic locations. We introduce a new peak calling method based on the generalized linear model (GLMNB) that utilizes negative binomial distribution to model the tag count data and account for the variation of background tags that may randomly bind to the DNA sequence at varying levels due to local genomic structures and sequence contents. We allow local shifting of peaks observed on the forward and the reverse stands, such that at each potential binding site, a binding profile representing the pattern of a real peak signal is fitted to best explain the observed tag data with maximum likelihood. Our method can also detect multiple peaks within a local region if there are multiple binding sites in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-838
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Computational Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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