Unique k-mer sequences for validating cancer-related substitution, insertion and deletion mutations. NAR cancer Lee, H., Shuaibi, A., Bell, J. M., Pavlichin, D. S., Ji, H. P. 2020; 2 (4): zcaa034


Cancer genome sequencing has led to important discoveries such as the identification of cancer genes. However, challenges remain in the analysis of cancer genome sequencing. One significant issue is that mutations identified by multiple variant callers are frequently discordant even when using the same genome sequencing data. For insertion and deletion mutations, oftentimes there is no agreement among different callers. Identifying somatic mutations involves read mapping and variant calling, a complicated process that uses many parameters and model tuning. To validate the identification of true mutations, we developed a method using k-mer sequences. First, we characterized the landscape of unique versus non-unique k-mers in the human genome. Second, we developed a software package, KmerVC, to validate the given somatic mutations from sequencing data. Our program validates the occurrence of a mutation based on statistically significant difference in frequency of k-mers with and without a mutation from matched normal and tumor sequences. Third, we tested our method on both simulated and cancer genome sequencing data. Counting k-mer involving mutations effectively validated true positive mutations including insertions and deletions across different individual samples in a reproducible manner. Thus, we demonstrated a straightforward approach for rapidly validating mutations from cancer genome sequencing data.

View details for DOI 10.1093/narcan/zcaa034

View details for PubMedID 33345188