Deep learning-based gene selection in comprehensive gene analysis

The selection of genes that are important for obtaining gene expression data is challenging. Here, we developed a deep learning-based feature selection method suitable for gene selection. Our novel deep learning model includes an additional feature-selection layer. After model training, the units in this layer with high weights correspond to the genes that worked effectively in the processing of the networks. Cancer tissue samples and adjacent normal pancreatic tissue samples were collected from 13 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma during surgery and subsequently frozen. After processing, gene expression data were extracted from the specimens using RNA sequencing. Task 1 for the model training was to discriminate between cancerous and normal pancreatic tissue in six patients. Task 2 was to discriminate between patients with pancreatic cancer (n = 13) who survived for more than one year after surgery.

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Fig: The network structure for the feature selection layer

The most frequently selected genes were ACACB,ADAMTS6NCAM1, and CADPS in Task 1, and CD1DPLA2G16DACH1, and SOWAHA in Task 2. According to The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset, these genes are all prognostic factors for pancreatic cancer. Thus, the feasibility of using our deep learning-based method for the selection of genes associated with pancreatic cancer development and prognosis was confirmed.

Mori, Y., Yokota, H., Hoshino, I. et al. Deep learning-based gene selection in comprehensive gene analysis in pancreatic cancer. Sci Rep 11, 16521 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95969-6

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