skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on April 1, 2023

Title: Interpretable deep generative models for genomics
Deep neural networks implementing generative models for dimensionality reduction have been extensively used for the visualization and analysis of genomic data. One of their key limitations is lack of interpretability: it is challenging to quantitatively identify which input features are used to construct the embedding dimensions, thus preventing insight into why cells are organized in a particular data visualization, for example. Here we present a scalable, interpretable variational autoencoder (siVAE) that is interpretable by design: it learns feature embeddings that guide the interpretation of the cell embeddings in a manner analogous to factor loadings of factor analysis. siVAE is as powerful and nearly as fast to train as the standard VAE but achieves full interpretability of the embedding dimensions. Using siVAE, we exploit a number of connections between dimensionality reduction and gene network inference to identify gene neighborhoods and gene hubs, without the explicit need for gene network inference. We observe a systematic difference in the gene neighborhoods identified by dimensionality reduction methods and gene network inference algorithms in general, suggesting they provide complementary information about the underlying structure of the gene co-expression network. Finally, we apply siVAE to implicitly learn gene networks for individual iPSC lines and uncover a more » correlation between neuronal differentiation efficiency and loss of co-expression of several mitochondrial complexes, including NADH dehydrogenase, cytochrome C oxidase, and cytochrome b. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1846559
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10327264
Journal Name:
bioRxiv
ISSN:
2692-8205
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Factor analysis methods have been widely used in neuroimaging to transfer high dimensional imaging data into low dimensional, ideally interpretable representations. However, most of these methods overlook the highly nonlinear and complex temporal dynamics of neural processes when factorizing their imaging data. In this paper, we present deep Markov factor analysis (DMFA), a generative model that employs Markov property in a chain of low dimensional temporal embeddings together with spatial inductive assumptions, all related through neural networks, to capture temporal dynamics in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, and tackle their high spatial dimensionality, respectively. Augmented with a discrete latent,more »DMFA is able to cluster fMRI data in its low dimensional temporal embedding with regard to subject and cognitive state variability, therefore, enables validation of a variety of fMRI-driven neuroscientific hypotheses. Experimental results on both synthetic and real fMRI data demonstrate the capacity of DMFA in revealing interpretable clusters and capturing nonlinear temporal dependencies in these high dimensional imaging data.« less
  2. Valencia, Alfonso (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation Protein function prediction, based on the patterns of connection in a protein–protein interaction (or association) network, is perhaps the most studied of the classical, fundamental inference problems for biological networks. A highly successful set of recent approaches use random walk-based low-dimensional embeddings that tend to place functionally similar proteins into coherent spatial regions. However, these approaches lose valuable local graph structure from the network when considering only the embedding. We introduce GLIDER, a method that replaces a protein–protein interaction or association network with a new graph-based similarity network. GLIDER is based on a variant of our previous GLIDEmore »method, which was designed to predict missing links in protein–protein association networks, capturing implicit local and global (i.e. embedding-based) graph properties. Results GLIDER outperforms competing methods on the task of predicting GO functional labels in cross-validation on a heterogeneous collection of four human protein–protein association networks derived from the 2016 DREAM Disease Module Identification Challenge, and also on three different protein–protein association networks built from the STRING database. We show that this is due to the strong functional enrichment that is present in the local GLIDER neighborhood in multiple different types of protein–protein association networks. Furthermore, we introduce the GLIDER graph neighborhood as a way for biologists to visualize the local neighborhood of a disease gene. As an application, we look at the local GLIDER neighborhoods of a set of known Parkinson’s Disease GWAS genes, rediscover many genes which have known involvement in Parkinson’s disease pathways, plus suggest some new genes to study. Availability and implementation All code is publicly available and can be accessed here: https://github.com/kap-devkota/GLIDER. Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.« less
  3. Abstract Motivation

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) of the same organism can be different under different conditions, although the overall network structure may be similar. Understanding the difference in GRNs under different conditions is important to understand condition-specific gene regulation. When gene expression and other relevant data under two different conditions are available, they can be used by an existing network inference algorithm to estimate two GRNs separately, and then to identify the difference between the two GRNs. However, such an approach does not exploit the similarity in two GRNs, and may sacrifice inference accuracy.

    Results

    In this paper, we model GRNs withmore »the structural equation model (SEM) that can integrate gene expression and genetic perturbation data, and develop an algorithm named fused sparse SEM (FSSEM), to jointly infer GRNs under two conditions, and then to identify difference of the two GRNs. Computer simulations demonstrate that the FSSEM algorithm outperforms the approaches that estimate two GRNs separately. Analysis of a dataset of lung cancer and another dataset of gastric cancer with FSSEM inferred differential GRNs in cancer versus normal tissues, whose genes with largest network degrees have been reported to be implicated in tumorigenesis. The FSSEM algorithm provides a valuable tool for joint inference of two GRNs and identification of the differential GRN under two conditions.

    Availability and implementation

    The R package fssemR implementing the FSSEM algorithm is available at https://github.com/Ivis4ml/fssemR.git. It is also available on CRAN.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

    « less
  4. Nie, Qing (Ed.)
    The analysis of single-cell genomics data presents several statistical challenges, and extensive efforts have been made to produce methods for the analysis of this data that impute missing values, address sampling issues and quantify and correct for noise. In spite of such efforts, no consensus on best practices has been established and all current approaches vary substantially based on the available data and empirical tests. The k-Nearest Neighbor Graph (kNN-G) is often used to infer the identities of, and relationships between, cells and is the basis of many widely used dimensionality-reduction and projection methods. The kNN-G has also been themore »basis for imputation methods using, e.g ., neighbor averaging and graph diffusion. However, due to the lack of an agreed-upon optimal objective function for choosing hyperparameters, these methods tend to oversmooth data, thereby resulting in a loss of information with regard to cell identity and the specific gene-to-gene patterns underlying regulatory mechanisms. In this paper, we investigate the tuning of kNN- and diffusion-based denoising methods with a novel non-stochastic method for optimally preserving biologically relevant informative variance in single-cell data. The framework, Denoising Expression data with a Weighted Affinity Kernel and Self-Supervision (DEWÄKSS), uses a self-supervised technique to tune its parameters. We demonstrate that denoising with optimal parameters selected by our objective function (i) is robust to preprocessing methods using data from established benchmarks, (ii) disentangles cellular identity and maintains robust clusters over dimension-reduction methods, (iii) maintains variance along several expression dimensions, unlike previous heuristic-based methods that tend to oversmooth data variance, and (iv) rarely involves diffusion but rather uses a fixed weighted kNN graph for denoising. Together, these findings provide a new understanding of kNN- and diffusion-based denoising methods. Code and example data for DEWÄKSS is available at https://gitlab.com/Xparx/dewakss/-/tree/Tjarnberg2020branch .« less
  5. Mathelier, Anthony (Ed.)
    Abstract Motivation Single-cell transcriptomics profiling technologies enable genome-wide gene expression measurements in individual cells but can currently only provide a static snapshot of cellular transcriptional states. RNA velocity analysis can help infer cell state changes using such single-cell transcriptomics data. To interpret these cell state changes inferred from RNA velocity analysis as part of underlying cellular trajectories, current approaches rely on visualization with principal components, t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding and other 2D embeddings derived from the observed single-cell transcriptional states. However, these 2D embeddings can yield different representations of the underlying cellular trajectories, hindering the interpretation of cell state changes.more »Results We developed VeloViz to create RNA velocity-informed 2D and 3D embeddings from single-cell transcriptomics data. Using both real and simulated data, we demonstrate that VeloViz embeddings are able to capture underlying cellular trajectories across diverse trajectory topologies, even when intermediate cell states may be missing. By considering the predicted future transcriptional states from RNA velocity analysis, VeloViz can help visualize a more reliable representation of underlying cellular trajectories. Availability and implementation Source code is available on GitHub (https://github.com/JEFworks-Lab/veloviz) and Bioconductor (https://bioconductor.org/packages/veloviz) with additional tutorials at https://JEF.works/veloviz/. Datasets used can be found on Zenodo (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4632471). Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.« less