Abstract: The diagnostic and prognostic potential of the vast quantity of publicly-available microarray data has driven the development of methods for integrating the data from different microarray platforms. Cross-platform integration, when appropriately implemented, has been shown to improve reproducibility and robustness of gene signature biomarkers. Microarray platform integration can be conceptually divided into approaches that perform early stage integration (cross-platform normalization) versus late stage data integration (meta-analysis). A growing number of statistical methods and associated software for platform integration are available to the user, however an understanding of their comparative performance and potential pitfalls is critical for best implementation. In this review we provide evidence-based, practical guidance to researchers performing cross-platform integration, particularly with an objective to discover biomarkers.
Abstract: Post translational modifications have been recognized as chemical signals that create docking sites for evolutionary conserved effector modules, allowing for signal integration within large networks of interactions. Lysine acetylation in particular has attracted attention as a regulatory modification, affecting chromatin structure and linking to transcriptional activation. Advances in peptide array technologies have facilitated the study of acetyl-lysine-containing linear motifs interacting with the evolutionary conserved bromodomain module, which specifically recognizes and binds to acetylated sequences in histones and other proteins. Here we summarize recent work employing SPOT peptide technology to identify acetyl-lysine dependent interactions and document the protocols adapted in our lab, as well as our efforts to characterize such bromodomain-histone interactions. Our results highlight the versatility of SPOT methods and establish an affordable tool for rapid access to potential protein/modified-peptide interactions involving lysine acetylation.
Abstract: DNA copy number aberrations (CNAs) are of biological and medical interest because they help identify regulatory mechanisms underlying tumor initiation and evolution. Identification of tumor-driving CNAs (driver CNAs) however remains a challenging task, because they are frequently hidden by CNAs that are the product of random events that take place during tumor evolution. Experimental detection of CNAs is commonly accomplished through array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) assays followed by supervised and/or unsupervised statistical methods that combine the segmented profiles of all patients to identify driver CNAs. Here, we extend a previously-presented supervised algorithm for the identification of CNAs that is based on a topological representation of the data. Our method associates a two-dimensional (2D) point cloud with each aCGH profile and generates a sequence of simplicial complexes, mathematical objects that generalize the concept of a graph. This representation of the data permits segmenting the data at different resolutions and identifying CNAs by interrogating the topological properties of these simplicial complexes. We tested our approach on a published dataset with the goal of identifying specific breast cancer CNAs associated with specific molecular subtypes. Identification of CNAs associated with each subtype was performed by analyzing each subtype separately from the others and by taking the rest of the subtypes as the control. Our results found a new amplification in 11q at the location of the progesterone receptor in the Luminal A subtype. Aberrations in the Luminal B subtype were found only upon removal of the basal-like subtype from the control set. Under those conditions, all regions found in the original publication, except for 17q, were confirmed; all aberrations, except those in chromosome arms 8q and 12q were confirmed in the basal-like subtype. These two chromosome arms, however, were detected only upon removal of three patients with exceedingly large copy number values. More importantly, we detected 10 and 21 additional regions in the Luminal B and basal-like subtypes, respectively. Most of the additional regions were either validated on an independent dataset and/or using GISTIC. Furthermore, we found three new CNAs in the basal-like subtype: a combination of gains and losses in 1p, a gain in 2p and a loss in 14q. Based on these results, we suggest that topological approaches that incorporate multiresolution analyses and that interrogate topological properties of the data can help in the identification of copy number changes in cancer.
Abstract: The expected five-year survival rate from a stage III ovarian cancer diagnosis is a mere 22%; this applies to the 7000 new cases diagnosed yearly in the UK. Stratification of patients with this heterogeneous disease, based on active molecular pathways, would aid a targeted treatment improving the prognosis for many cases. While hundreds of genes have been associated with ovarian cancer, few have yet been verified by peer research for clinical significance. Here, a meta-analysis approach was applied to two carefully selected gene expression microarray datasets. Artificial neural networks, Cox univariate survival analyses and T-tests identified genes whose expression was consistently and significantly associated with patient survival. The rigor of this experimental design increases confidence in the genes found to be of interest. A list of 56 genes were distilled from a potential 37,000 to be significantly related to survival in both datasets with a FDR of 1.39859 × 10−11, the identities of which both verify genes already implicated with this disease and provide novel genes and pathways to pursue. Further investigation and validation of these may lead to clinical insights and have potential to predict a patient’s response to treatment or be used as a novel target for therapy.
Abstract: Advances in lithographic approaches to fabricating bio-microarrays have been extensively explored over the last two decades. However, the need for pattern flexibility, a high density, a high resolution, affordability and on-demand fabrication is promoting the development of unconventional routes for microarray fabrication. This review highlights the development and uses of a new molecular lithography approach, called “microintaglio printing technology”, for large-scale bio-microarray fabrication using a microreactor array (µRA)-based chip consisting of uniformly-arranged, femtoliter-size µRA molds. In this method, a single-molecule-amplified DNA microarray pattern is self-assembled onto a µRA mold and subsequently converted into a messenger RNA or protein microarray pattern by simultaneously producing and transferring (immobilizing) a messenger RNA or a protein from a µRA mold to a glass surface. Microintaglio printing allows the self-assembly and patterning of in situ-synthesized biomolecules into high-density (kilo-giga-density), ordered arrays on a chip surface with µm-order precision. This holistic aim, which is difficult to achieve using conventional printing and microarray approaches, is expected to revolutionize and reshape proteomics. This review is not written comprehensively, but rather substantively, highlighting the versatility of microintaglio printing for developing a prerequisite platform for microarray technology for the postgenomic era.
Abstract: Establishing how a series of potentially important genes might relate to each other is relevant to understand the origin and evolution of illnesses, such as cancer. High‑throughput biological experiments have played a critical role in providing information in this regard. A special challenge, however, is that of trying to conciliate information from separate microarray experiments to build a potential genetic signaling path. This work proposes a two-step analysis pipeline, based on optimization, to approach meta-analysis aiming to build a proxy for a genetic signaling path.