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This article is part of the supplement: Tenth International Conference on Bioinformatics. First ISCB Asia Joint Conference 2011 (InCoB/ISCB-Asia 2011): Computational Biology

Open Access Proceedings

Sorting permutations by cut-circularize-linearize-and-paste operations

Keng-Hsuan Huang1, Kun-Tze Chen2 and Chin Lung Lu2*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan

2 Department of Computer Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12(Suppl 3):S26  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-S3-S26

Published: 30 November 2011



Genome rearrangements are studied on the basis of genome-wide analysis of gene orders and important in the evolution of species. In the last two decades, a variety of rearrangement operations, such as reversals, transpositions, block-interchanges, translocations, fusions and fissions, have been proposed to evaluate the differences between gene orders in two or more genomes. Usually, the computational studies of genome rearrangements are formulated as problems of sorting permutations by rearrangement operations.


In this article, we study a sorting problem by cut-circularize-linearize-and-paste (CCLP) operations, which aims to find a minimum number of CCLP operations to sort a signed permutation representing a chromosome. The CCLP is a genome rearrangement operation that cuts a segment out of a chromosome, circularizes the segment into a temporary circle, linearizes the temporary circle as a linear segment, and possibly inverts the linearized segment and pastes it into the remaining chromosome. The CCLP operation can model many well-known rearrangements, such as reversals, transpositions and block-interchanges, and others not reported in the biological literature. In addition, it really occurs in the immune response of higher animals. To distinguish those CCLP operations from the reversal, we call them as non-reversal CCLP operations. In this study, we use permutation groups in algebra to design an O(δn) time algorithm for solving the weighted sorting problem by CCLP operations when the weight ratio between reversals and non-reversal CCLP operations is 1:2, where n is the number of genes in the given chromosome and δ is the number of needed CCLP operations.


The algorithm we propose in this study is very simple so that it can be easily implemented with 1-dimensional arrays and useful in the studies of phylogenetic tree reconstruction and human immune response to tumors.