High-throughput molecular biology techniques are widely used to identify physical interactions between genetic elements located throughout the human genome. Chromosome Conformation Capture (3C) and other related techniques allow to investigate the spatial organisation of chromosomes in the cell’s natural state. Recent results have shown that there is a large correlation between co-localization and co-regulation of genes, but these important information are hampered by the lack of biologists-friendly analysis and visualisation software.
In this work we introduce NuChart-II, a tool for Hi-C data analysis that provides a gene-centric view of the chromosomal neighbourhood in a graph-based manner. NuChart-II is an efficient and highly optimized C++ re-implementation of a previous prototype package developed in R. Representing Hi-C data using a graph-based approach overcomes the common view relying on genomic coordinates and permits the use of graph analysis techniques to explore the spatial conformation of a gene neighbourhood.