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This content will become publicly available on February 17, 2023

Title: EdgeCrafting: mining embedded, latent, nonlinear patterns to construct gene relationship networks
Abstract The mechanisms that coordinate cellular gene expression are highly complex and intricately interconnected. Thus, it is necessary to move beyond a fully reductionist approach to understanding genetic information flow and begin focusing on the networked connections between genes that organize cellular function. Continued advancements in computational hardware, coupled with the development of gene correlation network algorithms, provide the capacity to study networked interactions between genes rather than their isolated functions. For example, gene coexpression networks are used to construct gene relationship networks using linear metrics such as Spearman or Pearson correlation. Recently, there have been tools designed to deepen these analyses by differentiating between intrinsic vs extrinsic noise within gene expression values, identifying different modules based on tissue phenotype, and capturing potential nonlinear relationships. In this report, we introduce an algorithm with a novel application of image-based segmentation modalities utilizing blob detection techniques applied for detecting bigenic edges in a gene expression matrix. We applied this algorithm called EdgeCrafting to a bulk RNA-sequencing gene expression matrix comprised of a healthy kidney and cancerous kidney data. We then compared EdgeCrafting against 4 other RNA expression analysis techniques: Weighted Gene Correlation Network Analysis, Knowledge Independent Network Construction, NetExtractor, and Differential gene more » expression analysis. « less
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Cherry, J M
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G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  5. Abstract Motivation

    The advancement of high-throughput technology characterizes a wide variety of epigenetic modifications and noncoding RNAs across the genome involved in disease pathogenesis via regulating gene expression. The high dimensionality of both epigenetic/noncoding RNA and gene expression data make it challenging to identify the important regulators of genes. Conducting univariate test for each possible regulator–gene pair is subject to serious multiple comparison burden, and direct application of regularization methods to select regulator–gene pairs is computationally infeasible. Applying fast screening to reduce dimension first before regularization is more efficient and stable than applying regularization methods alone.


    We propose a novel screening method based on robust partial correlation to detect epigenetic and noncoding RNA regulators of gene expression over the whole genome, a problem that includes both high-dimensional predictors and high-dimensional responses. Compared to existing screening methods, our method is conceptually innovative that it reduces the dimension of both predictor and response, and screens at both node (regulators or genes) and edge (regulator–gene pairs) levels. We develop data-driven procedures to determine the conditional sets and the optimal screening threshold, and implement a fast iterative algorithm. Simulations and applications to long noncoding RNA and microRNA regulation in Kidney cancer and DNA methylation regulationmore »in Glioblastoma Multiforme illustrate the validity and advantage of our method.

    Availability and implementation

    The R package, related source codes and real datasets used in this article are provided at

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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