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Inferring Relative Activity between Pathway and Downstream Genes to Classify Melanoma Cancer Progression

Author(s): Inkyung Jung | Jungsul Lee | Chulhee Choi | Dongsup Kim

Journal: Interdisciplinary Bio Central
ISSN 2005-8543

Volume: 3;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: melanoma cancer progression | biomarker | responsiveness | classifier | drug target

Introduction: Many signal transduction pathways mediate cell’s behavior by regulating expression level of involved genes. Abnormal behavior indicates loss of regulatory potential of pathways, and this can be attributed to loss of expression regulation of downstream genes. Therefore, function of pathways should be assessed by activity of a pathway itself and relative activity between a pathway and downstream genes, simultaneously. Results and Discussion: In this study, we suggested a new method to assess pathway’s function by introducing concept of ‘responsiveness’. The responsiveness was defined as a relative activity between a pathway itself and its downstream genes. The expression level of a downstream gene as a function of an upstream pathway activation characterizes disease status. In this aspect, by using the responsiveness we predicted potential progress in cancer development. We applied our method to predict primary and metastatic status of melanoma cancer. The result shows that the responsiveness-based approach achieves better performance than using gene or pathway information alone. The mean of ROC scores in the responsiveness-based approach was 0.90 for GSE7553 data set, increased more than 40% compared to a gene-based method. Moreover, identifying the abnormal regulatory patterns between pathway and its downstream genes provided more biologically interpretable information compared to gene or pathway based approaches.
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