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Electrophoresis. 1989 Feb;10(2):122-40.

Database and search techniques for two-dimensional gel protein data: a comparison of paradigms for exploratory data analysis and prospects for biological modeling.

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Image Processing Section, National Cancer Institute/FCRF, Frederick, MD 21701.


Two-dimensional (2-D) polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis can detect thousands of polypeptides, separating them by apparent molecular weight (Mr) and isoelectric point (pI). Thus it provides a more realistic and global view of cellular genetic expression than any other technique. This technique has been useful for finding sets of key proteins of biological significance. However, a typical experiment with more than a few gels often results in an unwiedly data management problem. In this paper, the GELLAB-II system is discussed with respect to how data reduction and exploratory data analysis can be aided by computer data management and statistical search techniques. By encoding the gel patterns in a "three-dimensional" (3-D) database, an exploratory data analysis can be carried out in an environment that might be called a "spread sheet for 2-D gel protein data". From such databases, complex parametric network models of protein expression during events such as differentiation might be constructed. For this, 2-D gel databases must be able to include data from other domains external to the gel itself. Because of the increasing complexity of such databases, new tools are required to help manage this complexity. Two such tools, object-oriented databases and expert-system rule-based analysis, are discussed in this context. Comparisons are made between GELLAB and other 2-D gel database analysis systems to illustrate some of the analysis paradigms common to these systems and where this technology may be heading.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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