How do I run DE for TPM values (not CPM)?
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13 months ago
John • 0

Can someone explain to me how to run DE using TPM instead of CPM, please? All the DE guides I'm seeing only use CPM values, but I need to work with TPM values. Providing either a guide of code to use or a manual/tutorial providing one would be most appreciated.

Also, note that I'm working with a .gz file that I downloaded onto RStudio with data.table::fread, which seems like it would affect how I would need to code the DE process in terms of what kinds of objects I'm using.

RStudio differential-expression TPM • 1.6k views
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13 months ago
LChart 4.0k

TPM and CPM are highly similar scales, so if you're following (say) a tutorial for DE with CPMs using LIMMA (which I would recommend if you're stuck with this pre-transformed data), then you can use TPM values wherever you see the CPMs and you should be good to go.

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Okay, so even if the tutorial gives a code like

logCPM <- cpm(dge, log=TRUE, prior.count=3)

It should still be fine to just put in my tpm file where CPM should go? (Note here that they use a cpm function, but there isn't a tpm function, to my knowledge.)

And as for the second part of what I asked, here is what I have so far:

dge <- DGEList(matchedgeneTPM)
dge <- calcNormFactors(dge)
dge$samples
fnames <- colnames(females)
mnames <- colnames(males)
group <- interaction(fnames, mnames)
fnames <- colnames(females)
mnames <- colnames(males)
group <- interaction(fnames, mnames)
plotMDS(dge, col = as.numeric(group))
mm <- model.matrix(~0 + group)
fit <- lmFit(dge, mm)

"matchedgeneTPM" is the table of TPM's I have (I already converted to log2(TPM+1) beforehand) and "females" and "males" are the list of female and male sample ID's I also constructed beforehand. Everything works fine until the last line, which gives the error "Error in getEAWP(object) : data object isn't of a recognized data class". Would you be able to explain how to fix this error, please?

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The cpm() function takes in a matrix of counts. So does calcNormFactors.

Just take your TPM, log it, and pass it through limma.

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That's what I'm trying to do but again, I'm getting an error on the last line and I'm asking how to fix it.

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you're mixing two packages, edgeR ("dgelist") and limma ("lmFit"). Just put your log(1+TPM) matrix as the first argument to lmFit.

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Thanks, but it's giving me the error that expression object should be numeric and that there are 2 non-numeric columns (because the first two columns are the labels of the genes and gene ID's I'm working with). Here is my code:

fit <- lmFit(matchedgeneTPM)[,-c(1,2)]

How should I reformat the code? And apologies, I know this should be simple but I'm new to this kind of stuff.

Also, do I need the stuff with group and mm?

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13 months ago
Gordon Smyth ★ 7.3k

See "Differential expression analysis starting from TPM data" https://support.bioconductor.org/p/98820/

The short answer is that you can analyse log(TPM+1) data passably well using limma with arrayWeights and trend, but you will nevertheless pay a heavy price in terms of statistical power compared to an analysis with actual read counts and library sizes. The use of arrayWeights() in limma is a way to try to estimate the library sizes that the TPMs were originally computed from.

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