RNA degradation affects RNA-seq quality when profiling transcriptional activities in cells. Here, we show that transcript degradation is both gene- and sample-specific and is a common and significant factor that may bias the results in RNA-seq analysis. Most existing global normalization approaches are ineffective to correct for degradation bias. We propose a novel pipeline named DegNorm to adjust the read counts for transcript degradation heterogeneity on a gene-by-gene basis while simultaneously controlling for the sequencing depth. The robust and effective performance of this method is demonstrated in an extensive set of simulated and real RNA-seq data.
- Alternative splicing
- Degradation normalization
- Non-negative matrix factorization
- RNA degradation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cell Biology