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  1. Abstract Motivation

    High throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) contact matrices are used to predict 3D chromatin structures in eukaryotic cells. High-resolution Hi-C data are less available than low-resolution Hi-C data due to sequencing costs but provide greater insight into the intricate details of 3D chromatin structures such as enhancer–promoter interactions and sub-domains. To provide a cost-effective solution to high-resolution Hi-C data collection, deep learning models are used to predict high-resolution Hi-C matrices from existing low-resolution matrices across multiple cell types.


    Here, we present two Cascading Residual Networks called HiCARN-1 and HiCARN-2, a convolutional neural network and a generative adversarial network, that use a novel framework of cascading connections throughout the network for Hi-C contact matrix prediction from low-resolution data. Shown by image evaluation and Hi-C reproducibility metrics, both HiCARN models, overall, outperform state-of-the-art Hi-C resolution enhancement algorithms in predictive accuracy for both human and mouse 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 and 1/100 downsampled high-resolution Hi-C data. Also, validation by extracting topologically associating domains, chromosome 3D structure and chromatin loop predictions from the enhanced data shows that HiCARN can proficiently reconstruct biologically significant regions.

    Availability and implementation

    HiCARN can be accessed and utilized as an open-sourced software at: and is also available as a containerized application that can be run on any platform.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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