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.
Abstract: A strategy is presented that allows a causal analysis of co-expressed genes, which may be subject to common regulatory influences. A state-of-the-art promoter analysis for potential transcription factor (TF) binding sites in combination with a knowledge-based analysis of the upstream pathway that control the activity of these TFs is shown to lead to hypothetical master regulators. This strategy was implemented as a workflow in a comprehensive bioinformatic software platform. We applied this workflow to gene sets that were identified by a novel triclustering algorithm in naphthalene-induced gene expression signatures of murine liver and lung tissue. As a result, tissue-specific master regulators were identified that are known to be linked with tumorigenic and apoptotic processes. To our knowledge, this is the first time that genes of expression triclusters were used to identify upstream regulators.
Abstract: Microarray technologies have been the basis of numerous important findings regarding gene expression in the few last decades. Studies have generated large amounts of data describing various processes, which, due to the existence of public databases, are widely available for further analysis. Given their lower cost and higher maturity compared to newer sequencing technologies, these data continue to be produced, even though data quality has been the subject of some debate. However, given the large volume of data generated, integration can help overcome some issues related, e.g., to noise or reduced time resolution, while providing additional insight on features not directly addressed by sequencing methods. Here, we present an integration test case based on public Drosophila melanogaster datasets (gene expression, binding site affinities, known interactions). Using an evolutionary computation framework, we show how integration can enhance the ability to recover transcriptional gene regulatory networks from these data, as well as indicating which data types are more important for quantitative and qualitative network inference. Our results show a clear improvement in performance when multiple datasets are integrated, indicating that microarray data will remain a valuable and viable resource for some time to come.
Abstract: Tissue microarray (TMA) methodology allows the concomitant analysis of hundreds of tissue specimens arrayed in the same manner on a recipient block. Subsequently, all samples can be processed under identical conditions, such as antigen retrieval procedure, reagent concentrations, incubation times with antibodies/probes, and escaping the inter-assays variability. Therefore, the use of TMA has revolutionized histopathology translational research projects and has become a tool very often used for putative biomarker investigations. TMAs are particularly relevant for large scale analysis of a defined disease entity. In the course of these exploratory studies, rare subpopulations can be discovered or identified. This can refer to subsets of patients with more particular phenotypic or genotypic disease with low incidence or to patients receiving a particular treatment. Such rare cohorts should be collected for more specific investigations at a later time, when, possibly, more samples of a rare identity will be available as well as more knowledge derived from concomitant, e.g., genetic, investigations will have been acquired. In this article we analyze for the first time the limits and opportunities to construct new TMA blocks using tissues from older available arrays and supplementary donor blocks. In summary, we describe the reasons and technical details for the construction of rare disease entities arrays.