PETCH-DB: a Portal for Exploring Tissue-specific and Complex disease-associated 5-Hydroxymethylcytosines

Qinyun Cai, Zhou Zhang*, Xiaolong Cui, Chang Zeng, Jiabin Cai, Jiajun Cai, Kai Wu, Xu Zhang, Yixiang Shi, Zoe Arvanitakis, Marc A. Bissonnette, Brian C.H. Chiu, Shi Yuan Cheng, Chuan He, Wei Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Epigenetic modifications play critical roles in gene regulation and disease pathobiology. Highly sensitive enabling technologies, including microarray- and sequencing-based approaches have allowed genome-wide profiling of cytosine modifications in DNAs in clinical samples to facilitate discovery of epigenetic biomarkers for disease diagnosis and prognosis. Historically, many previous studies, however, did not distinguish the most investigated 5-methylcytosines (5mC) from other modified cytosines, especially the biochemically stable 5-hydroxymethylcytosines (5hmC), which have been shown to have a distinct genomic distribution and regulatory role from 5mC. Notably, during the past several years, the 5hmC-Seal, a highly sensitive chemical labeling technique, has been demonstrated to be a powerful tool for genome-wide profiling of 5hmC in clinically feasible biospecimens (e.g. a few milliliter of plasma or serum). The 5hmC-Seal technique has been utilized by our team in biomarker discovery for human cancers and other complex diseases using circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA), as well as the characterization of the first 5hmC Human Tissue Map. Convenient access to the accumulating 5hmC-Seal data will allow the research community to validate and re-use these results, potentially providing novel insights into epigenetic contribution to a range of human diseases. Here we introduce the PETCH-DB, an integrated database that was implemented to provide 5hmC-related results generated using the 5hmC-Seal technique. We aim the PETCH-DB to be a central portal, which will be available to the scientific community with regularly updated 5hmC data in clinical samples to reflect current advances in this field. Database URL

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbaad042
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Information Systems
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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