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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB) Satellite Workshop on Comparative Genomics

Open Access Proceedings

Reconstructing genome mixtures from partial adjacencies

Ahmad Mahmoody*, Crystal L Kahn and Benjamin J Raphael*

Author Affiliations

Department of Computer Science, Brown University, Providence (RI), USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2012, 13(Suppl 19):S9  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-13-S19-S9

Published: 19 December 2012


Many cancer genome sequencing efforts are underway with the goal of identifying the somatic mutations that drive cancer progression. A major difficulty in these studies is that tumors are typically heterogeneous, with individual cells in a tumor having different complements of somatic mutations. However, nearly all DNA sequencing technologies sequence DNA from multiple cells, thus resulting in measurement of mutations from a mixture of genomes. Genome rearrangements are a major class of somatic mutations in many tumors, and the novel adjacencies (i.e. breakpoints) resulting from these rearrangements are readily detected from DNA sequencing reads. However, the assignment of each rearrangement, or adjacency, to an individual cancer genome in the mixture is not known. Moreover, the quantity of DNA sequence reads may be insufficient to measure all rearrangements in all genomes in the tumor. Motivated by this application, we formulate the k-minimum completion problem (k-MCP). In this problem, we aim to reconstruct k genomes derived from a single reference genome, given partial information about the adjacencies present in the mixture of these genomes. We show that the 1-MCP is solvable in linear time in the cases where: (i) the measured, incomplete genome has a single circular or linear chromosome; (ii) there are no restrictions on the chromosomal content of the measured, incomplete genome. We also show that the k-MCP problem, for k ≥ 3 in general, and the 2-MCP problem with the double-cut-and-join (DCJ) distance are NP-complete, when there are no restriction on the chromosomal structure of the measured, incomplete genome. These results lay the foundation for future algorithmic studies of the k-MCP and the application of these algorithms to real cancer sequencing data.