DeepDRIM: a deep neural network to reconstruct cell-type-specific gene regulatory network using single-cell RNA-seq data

Jiaxing Chen, ChinWang Cheong, Liang Lan, Xin Zhou, Jiming Liu, Aiping Lyu, William K Cheung, Lu Zhang
2021 Briefings in Bioinformatics  
Single-cell RNA sequencing has enabled to capture the gene activities at single-cell resolution, thus allowing reconstruction of cell-type-specific gene regulatory networks (GRNs). The available algorithms for reconstructing GRNs are commonly designed for bulk RNA-seq data, and few of them are applicable to analyze scRNA-seq data by dealing with the dropout events and cellular heterogeneity. In this paper, we represent the joint gene expression distribution of a gene pair as an image and
more » ... a novel supervised deep neural network called DeepDRIM which utilizes the image of the target TF-gene pair and the ones of the potential neighbors to reconstruct GRN from scRNA-seq data. Due to the consideration of TF-gene pair's neighborhood context, DeepDRIM can effectively eliminate the false positives caused by transitive gene-gene interactions. We compared DeepDRIM with nine GRN reconstruction algorithms designed for either bulk or single-cell RNA-seq data. It achieves evidently better performance for the scRNA-seq data collected from eight cell lines. The simulated data show that DeepDRIM is robust to the dropout rate, the cell number and the size of the training data. We further applied DeepDRIM to the scRNA-seq gene expression of B cells from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of the patients with mild and severe coronavirus disease 2019. We focused on the cell-type-specific GRN alteration and observed targets of TFs that were differentially expressed between the two statuses to be enriched in lysosome, apoptosis, response to decreased oxygen level and microtubule, which had been proved to be associated with coronavirus infection.
doi:10.1093/bib/bbab325 pmid:34424948 pmcid:PMC8499812 fatcat:nvu5io2xzje6tpxl53tbwyup5u