Regulatory Build now Cell Type specific

Since release 58, the Ensembl Regulatory Build has been cell type specific. Regulatory Features are defined as sites of open chromatin which are potentially involved in gene regulation. These are built using data from different cell types, resulting in differing structures, attributes and classifications across the various cell types.

Release 59 also boasts greater coverage due to the incorporation of more data sets (see previous blog post), and a new ‘projection’ methodology. Projection allows Regulatory Features to be built on cell lines with sparse data, and also consolidates existing higher quality builds. The result of these changes is an increase in the number of Regulatory Features per cell type, as well as an improvement in the number of features which are assigned a classification e.g. Gene Associated or Promoter Associated etc.

The ‘Regulation’ panel has also been updated to reflect the new cell type specific nature of the build e.g. ENSR00000515919. The ‘Details by cell line’ view is now split into several sections, each showing data for a specific cell line. The uppermost section details a species ‘MultiCell’ cell line, showing data used to define the core regions of the given Regulatory Feature. More information on this view can be found here. We are always looking at ways to improve our Regulatory Build process, some areas we are currently considering are listed in our development road map.