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In Silico Biol. 2007;7(3):241-60.

Quality assessment of the Affymetrix U133A&B probesets by target sequence mapping and expression data analysis.

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Genome Institute of Singapore, 60 Biopolis str., Genome, Singapore 138672.


Careful analysis of microarray probe design should be an obligatory component of MicroArray Quality Control (MACQ) project [Patterson et al., 2006; Shi et al., 2006] initiated by the FDA (USA) in order to provide quality control tools to researchers of gene expression profiles and to translate the microarray technology from bench to bedside. The identification and filtering of unreliable probesets are important preprocessing steps before analysis of microarray data. These steps may result in an essential improvement in the selection of differentially expressed genes, gene clustering and construction of co-regulatory expression networks. We revised genome localization of the Affymetrix U133A&B GeneChip initial (target) probe sequences, and evaluated the impact of erroneous and poorly annotated target sequences on the quality of gene expression data. We found about 25% of Affymetrix target sequences overlapping with interspersed repeats that could cause cross-hybridization effects. In total, discrepancies in target sequence annotation account for up to approximately 30% of 44692 Affymetrix probesets. We introduce a novel quality control algorithm based on target sequence mapping onto genome and GeneChip expression data analysis. To validate the quality of probesets we used expression data from large, clinically and genetically distinct groups of breast cancers (249 samples). For the first time, we quantitatively evaluated the effect of repeats and other sources of inadequate probe design on the specificity, reliability and discrimination ability of Affymetrix probesets. We propose that only functionally reliable Affymetrix probesets that passed our quality control algorithm (approximately 86%) for gene expression analysis should be utilized. The target sequence annotation and filtering is available upon request.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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