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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Feb;19(1):50-4. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2007.11.005. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Bioinformatics applications for pathway analysis of microarray data.

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Genomatix Software GmbH, Bayerstr. 85A, D-80335 M√ľnchen, Germany.


Changes in transcript levels are assessed by microarray analysis on an individual basis, essentially resulting in long lists of genes that were found to have significantly changed transcript levels. However, in biology these changes do not occur as independent events as such lists suggest, but in a highly coordinated and interdependent manner. Understanding the biological meaning of the observed changes requires elucidating such biological interdependencies. The most common way to achieve this is to project the gene lists onto distinct biological processes often represented in the form of gene-ontology (GO) categories or metabolic and regulatory pathways as derived from literature analysis. This review focuses on different approaches and tools employed for this task, starting form GO-ranking methods, covering pathway mappings, finally converging on biological network analysis. A brief outlook of the application of such approaches to the newest microarray-based technologies (Chromatin-ImmunoPrecipitation, ChIP-on-chip) concludes the review.

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