Abstract: Microarray data analysis typically consists in identifying a list of differentially expressed genes (DEG), i.e., the genes that are differentially expressed between two experimental conditions. Variance shrinkage methods have been considered a better choice than the standard t-test for selecting the DEG because they correct the dependence of the error with the expression level. This dependence is mainly caused by errors in background correction, which more severely affects genes with low expression values. Here, we propose a new method for identifying the DEG that overcomes this issue and does not require background correction or variance shrinkage. Unlike current methods, our methodology is easy to understand and implement. It consists of applying the standard t-test directly on the normalized intensity data, which is possible because the probe intensity is proportional to the gene expression level and because the t-test is scale- and location-invariant. This methodology considerably improves the sensitivity and robustness of the list of DEG when compared with the t-test applied to preprocessed data and to the most widely used shrinkage methods, Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM) and Linear Models for Microarray Data (LIMMA). Our approach is useful especially when the genes of interest have small differences in expression and therefore get ignored by standard variance shrinkage methods.
Abstract: The great utility of microarrays for genome-scale expression analysis is challenged by the widespread presence of batch effects, which bias expression measurements in particular within large data sets. These unwanted technical artifacts can obscure biological variation and thus significantly reduce the reliability of the analysis results. It is largely unknown which are the predominant technical sources leading to batch effects. We here quantitatively assess the prevalence and impact of several known technical effects on microarray expression results. Particularly, we focus on important factors such as RNA degradation, RNA quantity, and sequence biases including multiple guanine effects. We find that the common variation of RNA quality and RNA quantity can not only yield low-quality expression results, but that both factors also correlate with batch effects and biological characteristics of the samples.
Abstract: Over the last few years, miRNA microarray platforms have provided great insights into the biological mechanisms underlying the onset and development of several diseases. However, only a few studies have evaluated the concordance between different microarray platforms using methods that took into account measurement error in the data. In this work, we propose the use of a modified version of the Bland–Altman plot to assess agreement between microarray platforms. To this aim, two samples, one renal tumor cell line and a pool of 20 different human normal tissues, were profiled using three different miRNA platforms (Affymetrix, Agilent, Illumina) on triplicate arrays. Intra-platform reliability was assessed by calculating pair-wise concordance correlation coefficients (CCC) between technical replicates and overall concordance correlation coefficient (OCCC) with bootstrap percentile confidence intervals, which revealed moderate-to-good repeatability of all platforms for both samples. Modified Bland–Altman analysis revealed good patterns of concordance for Agilent and Illumina, whereas Affymetrix showed poor-to-moderate agreement for both samples considered. The proposed method is useful to assess agreement between array platforms by modifying the original Bland–Altman plot to let it account for measurement error and bias correction and can be used to assess patterns of concordance between other kinds of arrays other than miRNA microarrays.
Abstract: Cytokine proteins are known as biomarker molecules, characteristic of a disease or specific body condition. Monitoring of the cytokine pattern in body fluids can contribute to the diagnosis of diseases. Here we report on the development of an array comprised of different anti-cytokine antibodies on an activated solid support coupled with a fluorescence readout mechanism. Optimization of the array preparation was done in regard of spot homogeneity and spot size. The proinflammatory cytokines Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFα) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6) were chosen as the first targets of interest. First, the solid support for covalent antibody immobilization and an adequate fluorescent label were selected. Three differently functionalized glass substrates for spotting were compared: amine and epoxy, both having a two-dimensional structure, and the NHS functionalized hydrogel (NHS-3D). The NHS-hydrogel functionalization of the substrate was best suited to antibody immobilization. Then, the optimization of plotting parameters and geometry as well as buffer media were investigated, considering the ambient analyte theory of Roger Ekins. As a first step towards real sample studies, a proof of principle of cytokine detection has been established.
Abstract: Gene expression changes that occur during mesocarp development are a major research focus in oil palm research due to the economic importance of this tissue and the relatively rapid increase in lipid content to very high levels at fruit ripeness. Here, we report the development of a transcriptome-based 105,000-probe oil palm mesocarp microarray. The expression of genes involved in fatty acid (FA) and triacylglycerol (TAG) assembly, along with the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) and glycolysis pathway at 16 Weeks After Anthesis (WAA) exhibited significantly higher signals compared to those obtained from a cross-species hybridization to the Arabidopsis (p-value < 0.01), and rice (p-value < 0.01) arrays. The oil palm microarray data also showed comparable correlation of expression (r2 = 0.569, p < 0.01) throughout mesocarp development to transcriptome (RNA sequencing) data, and improved correlation over quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) (r2 = 0.721, p < 0.01) of the same RNA samples. The results confirm the advantage of the custom microarray over commercially available arrays derived from model species. We demonstrate the utility of this custom microarray to gain a better understanding of gene expression patterns in the oil palm mesocarp that may lead to increasing future oil yield.
Abstract: In this review, we describe different methods of microarray fabrication based on the use of micro-particles/-beads and point out future tendencies in the development of particle-based arrays. First, we consider oligonucleotide bead arrays, where each bead is a carrier of one specific sequence of oligonucleotides. This bead-based array approach, appearing in the late 1990s, enabled high-throughput oligonucleotide analysis and had a large impact on genome research. Furthermore, we consider particle-based peptide array fabrication using combinatorial chemistry. In this approach, particles can directly participate in both the synthesis and the transfer of synthesized combinatorial molecules to a substrate. Subsequently, we describe in more detail the synthesis of peptide arrays with amino acid polymer particles, which imbed the amino acids inside their polymer matrix. By heating these particles, the polymer matrix is transformed into a highly viscous gel, and thereby, imbedded monomers are allowed to participate in the coupling reaction. Finally, we focus on combinatorial laser fusing of particles for the synthesis of high-density peptide arrays. This method combines the advantages of particles and combinatorial lithographic approaches.