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  1. Abstract Background Applying directed acyclic graph (DAG) models to proteogenomic data has been shown effective for detecting causal biomarkers of complex diseases. However, there remain unsolved challenges in DAG learning to jointly model binary clinical outcome variables and continuous biomarker measurements. Results In this paper, we propose a new tool, DAGBagM, to learn DAGs with both continuous and binary nodes. By using appropriate models, DAGBagM allows for either continuous or binary nodes to be parent or child nodes. It employs a bootstrap aggregating strategy to reduce false positives in edge inference. At the same time, the aggregation procedure provides a flexible framework to robustly incorporate prior information on edges. Conclusions Through extensive simulation experiments, we demonstrate that DAGBagM has superior performance compared to alternative strategies for modeling mixed types of nodes. In addition, DAGBagM is computationally more efficient than two competing methods. When applying DAGBagM to proteogenomic datasets from ovarian cancer studies, we identify potential protein biomarkers for platinum refractory/resistant response in ovarian cancer. DAGBagM is made available as a github repository at https://github.com/jie108/dagbagM . 
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  2. Abstract Motivation

    Tumor tissue samples often contain an unknown fraction of stromal cells. This problem is widely known as tumor purity heterogeneity (TPH) was recently recognized as a severe issue in omics studies. Specifically, if TPH is ignored when inferring co-expression networks, edges are likely to be estimated among genes with mean shift between non-tumor- and tumor cells rather than among gene pairs interacting with each other in tumor cells. To address this issue, we propose Tumor Specific Net (TSNet), a new method which constructs tumor-cell specific gene/protein co-expression networks based on gene/protein expression profiles of tumor tissues. TSNet treats the observed expression profile as a mixture of expressions from different cell types and explicitly models tumor purity percentage in each tumor sample.

    Results

    Using extensive synthetic data experiments, we demonstrate that TSNet outperforms a standard graphical model which does not account for TPH. We then apply TSNet to estimate tumor specific gene co-expression networks based on TCGA ovarian cancer RNAseq data. We identify novel co-expression modules and hub structure specific to tumor cells.

    Availability and implementation

    R codes can be found at https://github.com/petraf01/TSNet.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

     
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