[Preprint] cinaR: A comprehensive R package for the differential analyses and functional interpretation of ATAC-seq data

Published in bioaRxiv, 2021

Summary ATAC-seq is a frequently used assay to study chromatin accessibility levels. Differential chromatin accessibility analyses between biological groups and functional interpretation of these differential regions are essential in ATAC-seq data analyses. Although distinct methods and analyses pipelines are developed for this purpose, a stand-alone R package that combines state-of-the art differential and functional enrichment analyses pipelines is missing. To fill this gap, we developed cinaR (Chromatin Analyses in R), which is a single wrapper function and provides users with various data analyses and visualization options, including functional enrichment analyses with gene sets curated from multiple sources.

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Machine learning assisted intraoperative assessment of brain tumor margins using HRMAS NMR spectroscopy

Published in PLOS Computational Biology, 2020

Complete resection of the tumor is important for survival in glioma patients. Even if the gross total resection was achieved, left-over micro-scale tissue in the excision cavity risks recurrence. High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (HRMAS NMR) technique can distinguish healthy and malign tissue efficiently using peak intensities of biomarker metabolites. The method is fast, sensitive and can work with small and unprocessed samples, which makes it a good fit for real-time analysis during surgery. However, only a targeted analysis for the existence of known tumor biomarkers can be made and this requires a technician with chemistry background, and a pathologist with knowledge on tumor metabolism to be present during surgery. Here, we show that we can accurately perform this analysis in real-time and can analyze the full spectrum in an untargeted fashion using machine learning. We work on a new and large HRMAS NMR dataset of glioma and control samples (n = 565), which are also labeled with a quantitative pathology analysis. Our results show that a random forest based approach can distinguish samples with tumor cells and controls accurately and effectively with a median AUC of 85.6% and AUPR of 93.4%. We also show that we can further distinguish benign and malignant samples with a median AUC of 87.1% and AUPR of 96.1%. We analyze the feature (peak) importance for classification to interpret the results of the classifier. We validate that known malignancy biomarkers such as creatine and 2-hydroxyglutarate play an important role in distinguishing tumor and normal cells and suggest new biomarker regions. The code is released at

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Predicting Carbon Spectrum in Heteronuclear Single Quantum Coherence Spectroscopy for Online Feedback During Surgery

Published in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology, 2020

1 H High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a reliable technology used for detecting metabolites in solid tissues. Fast response time enables guiding surgeons in real time, for detecting tumor cells that are left over in the excision cavity. However, severe overlap of spectral resonances in 1D signal often render distinguishing metabolites impossible. In that case, Heteronuclear Single Quantum Coherence Spectroscopy (HSQC) NMR is applied which can distinguish metabolites by generating 2D spectra (1H- 13 C). Unfortunately, this analysis requires much longer time and prohibits real time analysis. Thus, obtaining 2D spectrum fast has major implications in medicine. In this study, we show that using multiple multivariate regression and statistical total correlation spectroscopy, we can learn the relation between the 1 H and 13 C dimensions. Learning is possible with small sample sizes and without the need for performing the HSQC analysis, we can predict the 13 C dimension by just performing 1 H HRMAS NMR experiment. We show on a rat model of central nervous system tissues (80 samples, 5 tissues) that our methods achieve 0.971 and 0.957 mean R2 values, respectively. Our tests on 15 human brain tumor samples show that we can predict 104 groups of 39 metabolites with 97 percent accuracy. Finally, we show that we can predict the presence of a drug resistant tumor biomarker (creatine) despite obstructed signal in 1 H dimension. In practice, this information can provide valuable feedback to the surgeon to further resect the cavity to avoid potential recurrence.

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