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      Rank of Correlation Coefficient as a Comparable Measure for Biological Significance of Gene Coexpression


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          Information regarding gene coexpression is useful to predict gene function. Several databases have been constructed for gene coexpression in model organisms based on a large amount of publicly available gene expression data measured by GeneChip platforms. In these databases, Pearson's correlation coefficients (PCCs) of gene expression patterns are widely used as a measure of gene coexpression. Although the coexpression measure or GeneChip summarization method affects the performance of the gene coexpression database, previous studies for these calculation procedures were tested with only a small number of samples and a particular species. To evaluate the effectiveness of coexpression measures, assessments with large-scale microarray data are required. We first examined characteristics of PCC and found that the optimal PCC threshold to retrieve functionally related genes was affected by the method of gene expression database construction and the target gene function. In addition, we found that this problem could be overcome when we used correlation ranks instead of correlation values. This observation was evaluated by large-scale gene expression data for four species: Arabidopsis, human, mouse and rat.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Cluster analysis and display of genome-wide expression patterns.

          A system of cluster analysis for genome-wide expression data from DNA microarray hybridization is described that uses standard statistical algorithms to arrange genes according to similarity in pattern of gene expression. The output is displayed graphically, conveying the clustering and the underlying expression data simultaneously in a form intuitive for biologists. We have found in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that clustering gene expression data groups together efficiently genes of known similar function, and we find a similar tendency in human data. Thus patterns seen in genome-wide expression experiments can be interpreted as indications of the status of cellular processes. Also, coexpression of genes of known function with poorly characterized or novel genes may provide a simple means of gaining leads to the functions of many genes for which information is not available currently.
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            Comprehensive identification of cell cycle-regulated genes of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by microarray hybridization.

            We sought to create a comprehensive catalog of yeast genes whose transcript levels vary periodically within the cell cycle. To this end, we used DNA microarrays and samples from yeast cultures synchronized by three independent methods: alpha factor arrest, elutriation, and arrest of a cdc15 temperature-sensitive mutant. Using periodicity and correlation algorithms, we identified 800 genes that meet an objective minimum criterion for cell cycle regulation. In separate experiments, designed to examine the effects of inducing either the G1 cyclin Cln3p or the B-type cyclin Clb2p, we found that the mRNA levels of more than half of these 800 genes respond to one or both of these cyclins. Furthermore, we analyzed our set of cell cycle-regulated genes for known and new promoter elements and show that several known elements (or variations thereof) contain information predictive of cell cycle regulation. A full description and complete data sets are available at http://cellcycle-www.stanford.edu
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              A gene-coexpression network for global discovery of conserved genetic modules.

              To elucidate gene function on a global scale, we identified pairs of genes that are coexpressed over 3182 DNA microarrays from humans, flies, worms, and yeast. We found 22,163 such coexpression relationships, each of which has been conserved across evolution. This conservation implies that the coexpression of these gene pairs confers a selective advantage and therefore that these genes are functionally related. Many of these relationships provide strong evidence for the involvement of new genes in core biological functions such as the cell cycle, secretion, and protein expression. We experimentally confirmed the predictions implied by some of these links and identified cell proliferation functions for several genes. By assembling these links into a gene-coexpression network, we found several components that were animal-specific as well as interrelationships between newly evolved and ancient modules.

                Author and article information

                DNA Res
                DNA Research: An International Journal for Rapid Publication of Reports on Genes and Genomes
                Oxford University Press
                October 2009
                18 September 2009
                18 September 2009
                : 16
                : 5
                : 249-260
                [1 ]Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo , 4-6-1 Shirokane-dai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan
                [2 ]Institute for Bioinformatics Research and Development, Japan Science and Technology Agency , 4-1-8 Honcho, Kawaguchi, Saitama 332-0012, Japan
                Author notes
                [* ]To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel. +81 3-5449-5131. Fax. +81 3-5449-5133. E-mail: kino@ 123456ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp
                © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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