Parallelized latent dirichlet allocation provides a novel interpretability of mutation signatures in cancer genomes

Taro Matsutani, Michiaki Hamada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mutation signatures are defined as the distribution of specific mutations such as activity of AID/APOBEC family proteins. Previous studies have reported numerous signatures, using matrix factorization methods for mutation catalogs. Different mutation signatures are active in different tumor types; hence, signature activity varies greatly among tumor types and becomes sparse. Because of this, many previous methods require dividing mutation catalogs for each tumor type. Here, we propose parallelized latent Dirichlet allocation (PLDA), a novel Bayesian model to simultaneously predict mutation signatures with all mutation catalogs. PLDA is an extended model of latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), which is one of the methods used for signature prediction. It has parallelized hyperparameters of Dirichlet distributions for LDA, and they represent the sparsity of signature activities for each tumor type, thus facilitating simultaneous analyses. First, we conducted a simulation experiment to compare PLDA with previous methods (including SigProfiler and SignatureAnalyzer) using artificial data and confirmed that PLDA could predict signature structures as accurately as previous methods without searching for the optimal hyperparameters. Next, we applied PLDA to PCAWG (Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes) mutation catalogs and obtained a signature set different from the one predicted by SigProfiler. Further, we have shown that the mutation spectrum represented by the predicted signature with PLDA provides a novel interpretability through post-analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1127
Pages (from-to)20
Number of pages1
Issue number10 1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct


  • Bayes modeling
  • Cancer genome
  • Latent Dirichlet allocation
  • Mutation signature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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