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Bioinformatics. 2004 Jun 12;20(9):1464-5. Epub 2004 Feb 12.

GOstat: find statistically overrepresented Gene Ontologies within a group of genes.

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Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of medical Research, 1G Royal Parade, Parkville, Vic 3050, Australia.



Modern experimental techniques, as for example DNA microarrays, as a result usually produce a long list of genes, which are potentially interesting in the analyzed process. In order to gain biological understanding from this type of data, it is necessary to analyze the functional annotations of all genes in this list. The Gene-Ontology (GO) database provides a useful tool to annotate and analyze the functions of a large number of genes. Here, we introduce a tool that utilizes this information to obtain an understanding of which annotations are typical for the analyzed list of genes. This program automatically obtains the GO annotations from a database and generates statistics of which annotations are overrepresented in the analyzed list of genes. This results in a list of GO terms sorted by their specificity.


Our program GOstat is accessible via the Internet at

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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