Mining functional information associated with expression arrays
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Deciphering the networks of interactions between molecules in biological systems has gained momentum with the monitoring of gene expression patterns at the genomic scale. Expression array experiments provide vast amounts of experimental data about these networks, the analysis of which requires new computational methods. In particular, issues related to the extraction of biological information are key for the end users. We propose here a strategy, implemented in a system called GEISHA (gene expression information system for human analysis) and able to detect biological terms significantly associated to different gene expression clusters by mining collections of Medline abstracts. GEISHA is based on a comparison of the frequency of abstracts linked to different gene clusters and containing a given term. Interpretation by the end user of the biological meaning of the terms is facilitated by embedding them in the corresponding significant sentences and abstracts and by establishing relations with other, equally significant terms. The information provided by GEISHA for the available yeast expression data compares favorably with the functional annotations provided by human experts, demonstrating the potential value of GEISHA as an assistant for the analysis of expression array experiments.
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