A Novel Meta-analysis Approach of Cancer Transcriptomes Reveals Prevailing Transcriptional Networks in Cancer Cells

Atsushi Niida (aniida@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp)
Seiya Imoto (imoto@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp)
Masao Nagasaki (masao@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp)
Rui Yamaguchi (ruiy@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp)
Satoru Miyano (miyano@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp)

Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan


Although microarray technology has revealed transcriptomic diversities underlining various cancer phenotypes, transcriptional programs controlling them have not been well elucidated. To decode transcriptional programs governing cancer transcriptomes, we have recently developed a computational method termed EEM, which searches for expression modules from prescribed gene sets defined by prior biological knowledge like TF binding motifs. In this paper, we extend our EEM approach to predict cancer transcriptional networks. Starting from functional TF binding motifs and expression modules identified by EEM, we predict cancer transcriptional networks containing regulatory TFs, associated GO terms, and interactions between TF binding motifs. To systematically analyze transcriptional programs in broad types of cancer, we applied our EEM-based network prediction method to 122 microarray datasets collected from public databases. The data sets contain about 15000 experiments for tumor samples of various tissue origins including breast, colon, lung etc. This EEM based meta-analysis successfully revealed a prevailing cancer transcriptional network which functions in a large fraction of cancer transcriptomes; they include cell-cycle and immune related sub-networks. This study demonstrates broad applicability of EEM, and opens a way to comprehensive understanding of transcriptional networks in cancer cells.

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Japanese Society for Bioinformatics