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Convert read counts to transcripts per million (TPM).
#' Convert counts to transcripts per million (TPM).
#' Convert a numeric matrix of features (rows) and conditions (columns) with
#' raw feature counts to transcripts per million.
#' Lior Pachter. Models for transcript quantification from RNA-Seq.
#' arXiv:1104.3889v2
#' Wagner, et al. Measurement of mRNA abundance using RNA-seq data:
#' RPKM measure is inconsistent among samples. Theory Biosci. 24 July 2012.
#' doi:10.1007/s12064-012-0162-3
#' @param counts A numeric matrix of raw feature counts i.e.
#' fragments assigned to each gene.
#' @param featureLength A numeric vector with feature lengths.
#' @param meanFragmentLength A numeric vector with mean fragment lengths.
#' @return tpm A numeric matrix normalized by library size and feature length.
counts_to_tpm <- function(counts, featureLength, meanFragmentLength) {
# Ensure valid arguments.
stopifnot(length(featureLength) == nrow(counts))
stopifnot(length(meanFragmentLength) == ncol(counts))
# Compute effective lengths of features in each library.
effLen <-, lapply(1:ncol(counts), function(i) {
featureLength - meanFragmentLength[i] + 1
# Exclude genes with length less than the mean fragment length.
idx <- apply(effLen, 1, function(x) min(x) > 1)
counts <- counts[idx,]
effLen <- effLen[idx,]
featureLength <- featureLength[idx]
# Process one column at a time.
tpm <-, lapply(1:ncol(counts), function(i) {
rate = log(counts[,i]) - log(effLen[,i])
denom = log(sum(exp(rate)))
exp(rate - denom + log(1e6))
# Copy the row and column names from the original matrix.
colnames(tpm) <- colnames(counts)
rownames(tpm) <- rownames(counts)
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This is the Python version:

import pandas as pd
import numpy as np

def read_counts2tpm(df, sample_name):
    convert read counts to TPM (transcripts per million)
    :param df: a dataFrame contains the result coming from featureCounts
    :param sample_name: a list, all sample names, same as the result of featureCounts
    :return: TPM
    result = df
    sample_reads = result.loc[:, sample_name].copy()
    gene_len = result.loc[:, ['Length']]
    rate = sample_reads.values / gene_len.values
    tpm = rate / np.sum(rate, axis=0).reshape(1, -1) * 1e6
    return pd.DataFrame(data=tpm, columns=sample_name)

a = pd.DataFrame(data = {
    'Gene': ("A","B","C","D","E"),
    'Length': (100, 50, 25, 5, 1),
     'S1': (80, 10,  6,  3,   1),
     'S2': (20, 20, 10, 50, 400)

read_counts2tpm(a, ['S1', 'S2'])

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siya-kk commented Jan 26, 2021

The sad thing is i was using your "tpm_rpkm_from_featureCount.R" code years ago, and could not find the place how to cite it. cry......

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myh9811 commented Feb 1, 2021

hi @slowkow just wonder if I can use expected (estimated) counts (RSEM result) for this script?
(or is its use restricted to raw counts only?)

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