Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Genomics. 2006 Apr 21;7:87.

Operon information improves gene expression estimation for cDNA microarrays.

Author information

  • 1Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, A460 Mayo Building, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0378, USA.



In prokaryotic genomes, genes are organized in operons, and the genes within an operon tend to have similar levels of expression. Because of co-transcription of genes within an operon, borrowing information from other genes within the same operon can improve the estimation of relative transcript levels; the estimation of relative levels of transcript abundances is one of the most challenging tasks in experimental genomics due to the high noise level in microarray data. Therefore, techniques that can improve such estimations, and moreover are based on sound biological premises, are expected to benefit the field of microarray data analysis


In this paper, we propose a hierarchical Bayesian model, which relies on borrowing information from other genes within the same operon, to improve the estimation of gene expression levels and, hence, the detection of differentially expressed genes. The simulation studies and the analysis of experiential data demonstrated that the proposed method outperformed other techniques that are routinely used to estimate transcript levels and detect differentially expressed genes, including the sample mean and SAM t statistics. The improvement became more significant as the noise level in microarray data increases.


By borrowing information about transcriptional activity of genes within classified operons, we improved the estimation of gene expression levels and the detection of differentially expressed genes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk