Machine Learning Classifiers for Endometriosis Using Transcriptomics and Methylomics Data

Sadia Akter, Dong Xu, Susan C. Nagel, John J. Bromfield, Katherine Pelch, Gilbert B. Wilshire, Trupti Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Endometriosis is a complex and common gynecological disorder yet a poorly understood disease affecting about 176 million women worldwide and causing significant impact on their quality of life and economic burden. Neither a definitive clinical symptom nor a minimally invasive diagnostic method is available, thus leading to an average of 4 to 11 years of diagnostic latency. Discovery of relevant biological patterns from microarray expression or next generation sequencing (NGS) data has been advanced over the last several decades by applying various machine learning tools. We performed machine learning analysis using 38 RNA-seq and 80 enrichment-based DNA methylation (MBD-seq) datasets. We experimented how well various supervised machine learning methods such as decision tree, partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA), support vector machine, and random forest perform in classifying endometriosis from the control samples trained on both transcriptomics and methylomics data. The assessment was done from two different perspectives for improving classification performances: a) implication of three different normalization techniques and b) implication of differential analysis using the generalized linear model (GLM). Several candidate biomarker genes were identified by multiple machine learning experiments including NOTCH3, SNAPC2, B4GALNT1, SMAP2, DDB2, GTF3C5, and PTOV1 from the transcriptomics data analysis and TRPM6, RASSF2, TNIP2, RP3-522J7.6, FGD3, and MFSD14B from the methylomics data analysis. We concluded that an appropriate machine learning diagnostic pipeline for endometriosis should use TMM normalization for transcriptomics data, and quantile or voom normalization for methylomics data, GLM for feature space reduction and classification performance maximization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number766
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2019


  • DNA methylation
  • RNA-seq
  • classification
  • endometriosis
  • machine learning
  • methylomics
  • transcriptomics
  • translational bioinformatics


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