CTCFBSDB: a CTCF-binding site database for characterization of vertebrate genomic insulators

Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Jan;36(Database issue):D83-7. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkm875. Epub 2007 Nov 2.


Recent studies on transcriptional control of gene expression have pinpointed the importance of long-range interactions and three-dimensional organization of chromatins within the nucleus. Distal regulatory elements such as enhancers may activate transcription over long distances; hence, their action must be restricted within appropriate boundaries to prevent illegitimate activation of non-target genes. Insulators are DNA elements with enhancer-blocking and/or chromatin-bordering functions. In vertebrates, the versatile transcription regulator CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is the only identified trans-acting factor that confers enhancer-blocking insulator activity. CTCF-binding sites were found to be commonly distributed along the vertebrate genomes. We have constructed a CTCF-binding site database (CTCFBSDB) to characterize experimentally identified and computationally predicted CTCF-binding sties. Biological knowledge and data from multiple resources have been integrated into the database, including sequence data, genetic polymorphisms, function annotations, histone methylation profiles, gene expression profiles and comparative genomic information. A web-based user interface was implemented for data retrieval, analysis and visualization. In silico prediction of CTCF-binding motifs is provided to facilitate the identification of candidate insulators in the query sequences submitted by users. The database can be accessed at http://insulatordb.utmem.edu/

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • Computational Biology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Insulator Elements*
  • Internet
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • User-Computer Interface


  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • CTCF protein, human
  • Ctcf protein, mouse
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins