I'm trying to convert mouse genes from PTX data to human genes in order to do a comparison with patient data to see what genes are being conserved. I'm using this file for the orthologs. http://www.informatics.jax.org/downloads/reports/HOM_MouseHumanSequence.rpt

I read the table with:

gene_conversion <- read.table("HOM_MouseHumanSequence.rpt.txt", sep="\t", header=T, fill=T)

I have subsetted the mouse genes from the PTX seurat object to only include the mouse genes with:

mouse_only <- subset(scData, features = mouse_1)
[1] "Xkr4"    "Gm37180" "Gm37363" "Gm19938" "Sox17"   "Gm6085" 

Now I'm not sure how to convert the mouse genes in my mouse-only seurat object to match the human genes in the file.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ Just checking / confirming... shouldn't that be a double equals in the subset command? are you using features == mouse_1? $\endgroup$
    – gringer
    Aug 5, 2021 at 8:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No, just a single equals. When I run the command with double I get an error. subset(scData, features == mouse_1) Error in FetchData(object = object, vars = unique(x = expr.char[vars.use]), : None of the requested variables were found: $\endgroup$
    – mmpp
    Aug 5, 2021 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I see now! Thanks. This seems to be an undocumented / new feature of subset that I haven't encountered before. $\endgroup$
    – gringer
    Aug 5, 2021 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ Any suggestions on how to continue? $\endgroup$
    – mmpp
    Aug 5, 2021 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Mice genes are usually the same as the human ones, but lower case with only the first character as upper (Sox17 -> SOX17). toupper(rownames(mouse_only)) will do the trick.

Unfortunately, there are exceptions, and it is always better to relay on information from databases. The function bellow takes a vector of human genes, and uses biomaRt to return the corresponding genes in mouse.

# from Human to Mouse
convertHumanGeneList <- function(x){

   human <- useMart("ensembl", dataset = "hsapiens_gene_ensembl")
   mouse <- useMart("ensembl", dataset = "mmusculus_gene_ensembl")

   genesV2 <- getLDS(attributes = c("hgnc_symbol"), filters = "hgnc_symbol", 
                 values = x , mart = human, attributesL = c("mgi_symbol"), martL = mouse, uniqueRows=T)

   humanx <- unique(genesV2[, 2])


You simply need to invert the 2 and you should be able to convert your vector rownames(mouse_only)

#---- Update using SOX17 as example enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ That didn't work. genesV2 is empty. $\endgroup$
    – mmpp
    Aug 5, 2021 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ Works for me. I added a figure in my answer to show you the output I get $\endgroup$
    – fra
    Aug 5, 2021 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ Figured out the issue, I didn't assign x a value. Now that I have the human genes, how can I do a correlation between the mouse genes from the PTX data vs the genes from patient data? $\endgroup$
    – mmpp
    Aug 5, 2021 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ That's probably a topic for another question :D. You should accept the answer (if you managed to convert the genes name), and open a different topic. $\endgroup$
    – fra
    Aug 6, 2021 at 18:07

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