A Bashashati, G Haffari, J Ding, G Ha, K Lui, J Rosner, DG Huntsman, C Caldas, SA Aparicio, SP Shah
Simultaneous interrogation of tumor genomes and transcriptomes is underway in unprecedented global efforts. Yet, despite the essential need to separate driver mutations modulating gene expression networks from transcriptionally inert passenger mutations, robust computational methods to ascertain the impact of individual mutations on transcriptional networks are underdeveloped. We introduce a novel computational framework, DriverNet, to identify likely driver mutations by virtue of their effect on mRNA expression networks. Application to four cancer datasets reveals the prevalence of rare candidate driver mutations associated with disrupted transcriptional networks and a simultaneous modulation of oncogenic and metabolic networks, induced by copy number co-modification of adjacent oncogenic and metabolic drivers. DriverNet is available on Bioconductor or at http://compbio.bccrc.ca/software/drivernet/.