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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Mining microarray expression data by literature profiling

Damien Chaussabel* and Alan Sher

Author Affiliations

Immunobiology Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

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Genome Biology 2002, 3:research0055-research0055.16  doi:10.1186/gb-2002-3-10-research0055

Published: 13 September 2002

Abstract

Background

The rapidly expanding fields of genomics and proteomics have prompted the development of computational methods for managing, analyzing and visualizing expression data derived from microarray screening. Nevertheless, the lack of efficient techniques for assessing the biological implications of gene-expression data remains an important obstacle in exploiting this information.

Results

To address this need, we have developed a mining technique based on the analysis of literature profiles generated by extracting the frequencies of certain terms from thousands of abstracts stored in the Medline literature database. Terms are then filtered on the basis of both repetitive occurrence and co-occurrence among multiple gene entries. Finally, clustering analysis is performed on the retained frequency values, shaping a coherent picture of the functional relationship among large and heterogeneous lists of genes. Such data treatment also provides information on the nature and pertinence of the associations that were formed.

Conclusions

The analysis of patterns of term occurrence in abstracts constitutes a means of exploring the biological significance of large and heterogeneous lists of genes. This approach should contribute to optimizing the exploitation of microarray technologies by providing investigators with an interface between complex expression data and large literature resources.