The Roadmap Epigenomics Consortium has published whole-genome functional annotation maps in 127 human cell types by integrating data from studies of multiple epigenetic marks. These maps have been widely used for studying gene regulation in cell type-specific contexts and predicting the functional impact of DNA mutations on disease. Here, we present a new map of functional elements produced by applying amethod called IDEAS on the same data. The method has several unique advantages and outperforms existing methods, including that used by the Roadmap Epigenomics Consortium. Using five categories of independent experimental datasets, we compared the IDEAS and Roadmap Epigenomics maps. While the overall concordance between the two maps is high, the maps differ substantially in the prediction details and in their consistency of annotation of a given genomic position across cell types. The annotation from IDEAS is uniformly more accurate than the Roadmap Epigenomics annotation and the improvement is substantial based on several criteria. We further introduce a pipeline that improves the reproducibility of functional annotation maps. Thus, we provide a high-quality map of candidate functional regions across 127 human cell types and compare the quality of different annotation methods in order to facilitate biomedical research in epigenomics.
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