DNA methylation is an important mechanism regulating gene transcription, and its role in carcinogenesis has been extensively studied. Hyper and hypomethylation of genes is a major mechanism of gene expression deregulation in a wide range of diseases. At the same time, high-throughput DNA methylation assays have been developed generating vast amounts of genome wide DNA methylation measurements. We developed MethylMix, an algorithm implemented in R to identify disease specific hyper and hypomethylated genes. Here we present a new version of MethylMix that automates the construction of DNA-methylation and gene expression datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). More precisely, MethylMix 2.0 incorporates two major updates: the automated downloading of DNA methylation and gene expression datasets from TCGA and the automated preprocessing of such datasets: value imputation, batch correction and CpG sites clustering within each gene. The resulting datasets can subsequently be analyzed with MethylMix to identify transcriptionally predictive methylation states. We show that the Differential Methylation Values created by MethylMix can be used for cancer subtyping.

Availability and implementation

MethylMix 2.0 was implemented as an R package and is available in bioconductor.

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