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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;729:99-119. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-065-2_7.

Bioinformatic methods for finding differentially expressed genes in cDNA libraries, applied to the identification of tumour vascular targets.

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Cancer Research UK Angiogenesis Group, Institute for Biomedical Research, Schools of Immunity and Infection and Cancer studies, College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


The aim of this method is to guide a bench scientist to maximise cDNA library analyses to predict biologically relevant genes to pursue in the laboratory. Many groups have successfully utilised cDNA libraries to discover novel and/or differentially expressed genes in pathologies of interest. This is despite the high cost of cDNA library production using the Sanger method of sequencing, which produces modest numbers of expressed sequences compared to the total transcriptome. Both public and propriety cDNA libraries can be utilised in this way, and combining biologically relevant data can reveal biologically interesting genes. Pivotal to the quality of target identification are the selection of biologically relevant libraries, the accuracy of Expressed Sequence Tag to gene assignment, and the statistics used. The key steps, methods, and tools used to this end will be described using vascular targeting as an example. With the advent of next-generation sequencing, these or similar methods can be applied to find novel genes with this new source of data.

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