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Computation of significance scores of unweighted Gene Set Enrichment Analyses

Author(s): Keller Andreas | Backes Christina | Lenhof Hans-Peter

Journal: BMC Bioinformatics
ISSN 1471-2105

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 290;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Background Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) is a computational method for the statistical evaluation of sorted lists of genes or proteins. Originally GSEA was developed for interpreting microarray gene expression data, but it can be applied to any sorted list of genes. Given the gene list and an arbitrary biological category, GSEA evaluates whether the genes of the considered category are randomly distributed or accumulated on top or bottom of the list. Usually, significance scores (p-values) of GSEA are computed by nonparametric permutation tests, a time consuming procedure that yields only estimates of the p-values. Results We present a novel dynamic programming algorithm for calculating exact significance values of unweighted Gene Set Enrichment Analyses. Our algorithm avoids typical problems of nonparametric permutation tests, as varying findings in different runs caused by the random sampling procedure. Another advantage of the presented dynamic programming algorithm is its runtime and memory efficiency. To test our algorithm, we applied it not only to simulated data sets, but additionally evaluated expression profiles of squamous cell lung cancer tissue and autologous unaffected tissue.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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