Integrated analyses of multiple genomic datatypes are now common in cancer profiling studies. Such data present opportunities for numerous computational experiments, yet analytic pipelines are limited. Tools such as the cBioPortal and Regulome Explorer, although useful, are not easy to access programmatically or to implement locally. Here, we introduce the MVisAGe R package, which allows users to quantify gene-level associations between two genomic datatypes to investigate the effect of genomic alterations (e.g., DNA copy number changes on gene expression). Visualizing Pearson/Spearman correlation coefficients according to the genomic positions of the underlying genes provides a powerful yet novel tool for conducting exploratory analyses.Wedemonstrate its utility by analyzing three publicly available cancer datasets. Our approach highlights canonical oncogenes in chr11q13 that displayed the strongest associations between expression and copy number, including CCND1 and CTTN, genes not identified by copy number analysis in the primary reports. We demonstrate highly concordant usage of shared oncogenes on chr3q, yet strikingly diverse oncogene usage on chr11q as a function of HPV infection status. Regions of chr19 that display remarkable associations between methylation and gene expression were identified, as were previously unreported miRNA-gene expression associations that may contribute to the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Significance: This study presents an important bioinformatics tool that will enable integrated analyses of multiple genomic datatypes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research