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Int J Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;1(1):51-68. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

Computing gene expression data with a knowledge-based gene clustering approach.

Abstract

Computational analysis methods for gene expression data gathered in microarray experiments can be used to identify the functions of previously unstudied genes. While obtaining the expression data is not a difficult task, interpreting and extracting the information from the datasets is challenging. In this study, a knowledge-based approach which identifies and saves important functional genes before filtering based on variability and fold change differences was utilized to study light regulation. Two clustering methods were used to cluster the filtered datasets, and clusters containing a key light regulatory gene were located. The common genes to both of these clusters were identified, and the genes in the common cluster were ranked based on their coexpression to the key gene. This process was repeated for 11 key genes in 3 treatment combinations. The initial filtering method reduced the dataset size from 22,814 probes to an average of 1134 genes, and the resulting common cluster lists contained an average of only 14 genes. These common cluster lists scored higher gene enrichment scores than two individual clustering methods. In addition, the filtering method increased the proportion of light responsive genes in the dataset from 1.8% to 15.2%, and the cluster lists increased this proportion to 18.4%. The relatively short length of these common cluster lists compared to gene groups generated through typical clustering methods or coexpression networks narrows the search for novel functional genes while increasing the likelihood that they are biologically relevant.

PMID:
21968910
PMCID:
PMC3180043

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