Gaussian Graphical Models to Infer Putative Genes Involved in Nitrogen Catabolite Repression in S. cerevisiae

  • Kevin Kontos
  • Bruno André
  • Jacques van Helden
  • Gianluca Bontempi
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5483)


Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for all life forms. Like most unicellular organisms, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae transports and catabolizes good nitrogen sources in preference to poor ones. Nitrogen catabolite repression (NCR) refers to this selection mechanism. We propose an approach based on Gaussian graphical models (GGMs), which enable to distinguish direct from indirect interactions between genes, to identify putative NCR genes from putative NCR regulatory motifs and over-represented motifs in the upstream noncoding sequences of annotated NCR genes. Because of the high-dimensionality of the data, we use a shrinkage estimator of the covariance matrix to infer the GGMs. We show that our approach makes significant and biologically valid predictions. We also show that GGMs are more effective than models that rely on measures of direct interactions between genes.


Receiver Operator Characteristic Curve Partial Correlation Sample Covariance Matrix Shrinkage Estimator Good Nitrogen Source 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Kontos
    • 1
  • Bruno André
    • 2
  • Jacques van Helden
    • 3
  • Gianluca Bontempi
    • 1
  1. 1.Machine Learning Group, Faculté des SciencesUniversité Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Physiologie Moléculaire de la Cellule, IBMM, Faculté des SciencesULBGosseliesBelgium
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Bioinformatique des Génomes et des Réseaux, Faculté des SciencesULBBrusselsBelgium

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