WISExome: A within-sample comparison approach to detect copy number variations in whole exome sequencing data

Roy Straver, Marjan M. Weiss, Quinten Waisfisz, Erik A. Sistermans, Marcel J.T. Reinders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In clinical genetics, detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNVs) as well as copy number variations (CNVs) is essential for patient genotyping. Obtaining both CNV and SNV information from WES data would significantly simplify clinical workflow. Unfortunately, the sequence reads obtained with WES vary between samples, complicating accurate CNV detection with WES. To avoid being dependent on other samples, we developed a within-sample comparison approach (WISExome). For every (WES) target region on the genome, we identified a set of reference target regions elsewhere on the genome with similar read frequency behavior. For a new sample, aberrations are detected by comparing the read frequency of a target region with the distribution of read frequencies in the reference set. WISExome correctly identifies known pathogenic CNVs (range 4 Kb-5.2 Mb). Moreover, WISExome prioritizes pathogenic CNVs by sorting them on quality and annotations of overlapping genes in OMIM. When comparing WISExome to four existing CNV detection tools, we found that CoNIFER detects much fewer CNVs and XHMM breaks calls made by other tools into smaller calls (fragmentation). CODEX and CLAMMS seem to perform more similar to WISExome. CODEX finds all known pathogenic CNVs, but detects much more calls than all other methods. CLAMMS and WISExome agree the most. CLAMMS does, however, miss one of the known CNVs and shows slightly more fragmentation. Taken together, WISExome is a promising tool for genome diagnostics laboratories as the workflow can be solely based on WES data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1354-1363
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean journal of human genetics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Cite this