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RegulatorTrail: a web service for the identification of key transcriptional regulators

Transcriptional regulators such as transcription factors and chromatin modifiers play a central role in most biological processes. Alterations in their activities have been observed in many diseases, e.g. cancer. Hence, it is of utmost importance to evaluate and assess the effects of transcriptional regulators on natural and pathogenic processes. Here, we present RegulatorTrail, a web service that provides rich functionality for the identification and prioritization of key transcriptional regulators that have a strong impact on, e.g. pathological processes. RegulatorTrail offers eight methods that use regulator binding information in combination with transcriptomic or epigenomic data to infer the most influential regulators. Our web service not only provides an intuitive web interface, but also a well-documented RESTful API that allows for a straightforward integration into third-party workflows. The presented case studies highlight the capabilities of our web service and demonstrate its potential for the identification of influential regulators: we successfully identified regulators that might explain the increased malignancy in metastatic melanoma compared to primary tumors, as well as important regulators in macrophages. RegulatorTrail is freely accessible at:
Nucleic Acids Research
Publication Date: 
02 May 2017
[KSS+17] Kehl, T., Schneider, L., Schmidt, F., Stöckel, D., Gerstner, N., Backes, C., Meese, E., Keller, A., Schulz, M. H. and Lenhof, H.-P.: RegulatorTrail: a web service for the identification of key transcriptional regulators. Nucl. Acids Res. (2017). doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx350.