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1.  HAT: Hypergeometric Analysis of Tiling-arrays with application to promoter-GeneChip data 
BMC Bioinformatics  2010;11:275.
Tiling-arrays are applicable to multiple types of biological research questions. Due to its advantages (high sensitivity, resolution, unbiased), the technology is often employed in genome-wide investigations. A major challenge in the analysis of tiling-array data is to define regions-of-interest, i.e., contiguous probes with increased signal intensity (as a result of hybridization of labeled DNA) in a region. Currently, no standard criteria are available to define these regions-of-interest as there is no single probe intensity cut-off level, different regions-of-interest can contain various numbers of probes, and can vary in genomic width. Furthermore, the chromosomal distance between neighboring probes can vary across the genome among different arrays.
We have developed Hypergeometric Analysis of Tiling-arrays (HAT), and first evaluated its performance for tiling-array datasets from a Chromatin Immunoprecipitation study on chip (ChIP-on-chip) for the identification of genome-wide DNA binding profiles of transcription factor Cebpa (used for method comparison). Using this assay, we can refine the detection of regions-of-interest by illustrating that regions detected by HAT are more highly enriched for expected motifs in comparison with an alternative detection method (MAT). Subsequently, data from a retroviral insertional mutagenesis screen were used to examine the performance of HAT among different applications of tiling-array datasets. In both studies, detected regions-of-interest have been validated with (q)PCR.
We demonstrate that HAT has increased specificity for analysis of tiling-array data in comparison with the alternative method, and that it accurately detects regions-of-interest in two different applications of tiling-arrays. HAT has several advantages over previous methods: i) as there is no single cut-off level for probe-intensity, HAT can detect regions-of-interest at various thresholds, ii) it can detect regions-of-interest of any size, iii) it is independent of probe-resolution across the genome, and across tiling-array platforms and iv) it employs a single user defined parameter: the significance level. Regions-of-interest are detected by computing the hypergeometric-probability, while controlling the Family Wise Error. Furthermore, the method does not require experimental replicates, common regions-of-interest are indicated, a sequence-of-interest can be examined for every detected region-of-interest, and flanking genes can be reported.
PMCID: PMC2892465  PMID: 20492700
2.  Efficient oligonucleotide probe selection for pan-genomic tiling arrays 
BMC Bioinformatics  2009;10:293.
Array comparative genomic hybridization is a fast and cost-effective method for detecting, genotyping, and comparing the genomic sequence of unknown bacterial isolates. This method, as with all microarray applications, requires adequate coverage of probes targeting the regions of interest. An unbiased tiling of probes across the entire length of the genome is the most flexible design approach. However, such a whole-genome tiling requires that the genome sequence is known in advance. For the accurate analysis of uncharacterized bacteria, an array must query a fully representative set of sequences from the species' pan-genome. Prior microarrays have included only a single strain per array or the conserved sequences of gene families. These arrays omit potentially important genes and sequence variants from the pan-genome.
This paper presents a new probe selection algorithm (PanArray) that can tile multiple whole genomes using a minimal number of probes. Unlike arrays built on clustered gene families, PanArray uses an unbiased, probe-centric approach that does not rely on annotations, gene clustering, or multi-alignments. Instead, probes are evenly tiled across all sequences of the pan-genome at a consistent level of coverage. To minimize the required number of probes, probes conserved across multiple strains in the pan-genome are selected first, and additional probes are used only where necessary to span polymorphic regions of the genome. The viability of the algorithm is demonstrated by array designs for seven different bacterial pan-genomes and, in particular, the design of a 385,000 probe array that fully tiles the genomes of 20 different Listeria monocytogenes strains with overlapping probes at greater than twofold coverage.
PanArray is an oligonucleotide probe selection algorithm for tiling multiple genome sequences using a minimal number of probes. It is capable of fully tiling all genomes of a species on a single microarray chip. These unique pan-genome tiling arrays provide maximum flexibility for the analysis of both known and uncharacterized strains.
PMCID: PMC2753849  PMID: 19758451
3.  Comparison and calibration of transcriptome data from RNA-Seq and tiling arrays 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:383.
Tiling arrays have been the tool of choice for probing an organism's transcriptome without prior assumptions about the transcribed regions, but RNA-Seq is becoming a viable alternative as the costs of sequencing continue to decrease. Understanding the relative merits of these technologies will help researchers select the appropriate technology for their needs.
Here, we compare these two platforms using a matched sample of poly(A)-enriched RNA isolated from the second larval stage of C. elegans. We find that the raw signals from these two technologies are reasonably well correlated but that RNA-Seq outperforms tiling arrays in several respects, notably in exon boundary detection and dynamic range of expression. By exploring the accuracy of sequencing as a function of depth of coverage, we found that about 4 million reads are required to match the sensitivity of two tiling array replicates. The effects of cross-hybridization were analyzed using a "nearest neighbor" classifier applied to array probes; we describe a method for determining potential "black list" regions whose signals are unreliable. Finally, we propose a strategy for using RNA-Seq data as a gold standard set to calibrate tiling array data. All tiling array and RNA-Seq data sets have been submitted to the modENCODE Data Coordinating Center.
Tiling arrays effectively detect transcript expression levels at a low cost for many species while RNA-Seq provides greater accuracy in several regards. Researchers will need to carefully select the technology appropriate to the biological investigations they are undertaking. It will also be important to reconsider a comparison such as ours as sequencing technologies continue to evolve.
PMCID: PMC3091629  PMID: 20565764
4.  Hypergeometric analysis of tiling-array and sequence data: detection and interpretation of peaks 
Probing protein-deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is gaining popularity as it sheds light on molecular mechanisms that regulate the expression of genes. Currently, tiling-arrays and next-generation sequencing technology can be used to measure these interactions. Both methods generate a signal over the genome in which contiguous regions of peaks on the genome represent the presence of an interacting molecule. Many methods do exist to identify functional regions of interest (ROIs) on the genome. However the detection of ROIs are often not an end-point in research questions and it therefore requires data dragging between tools to relate the ROIs to information present in databases, such as gene-ontology, pathway information, or enrichment of certain genomic content. We introduce hypergeometric analysis of tiling-array and sequence data (HATSEQ), a powerful tool that accurately identifies functional ROIs on the genome where a genomic signal significantly deviates from the general genome-wide behavior. HATSEQ also includes a number of built-in post-analyses with which biological meaning can be attached to the detected ROIs in terms of gene pathways and de-novo motif analysis, and provides different visualizations and statistical summaries for the detected ROIs. In addition, HATSEQ has an intuitive graphic user interface that lowers the barrier for researchers to analyze their data without the need of scripting languages. We compared the results of HATSEQ against two other popular chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq) methods and observed overlap in the detected ROIs but HATSEQ is more specific in delineating the peak boundaries. We also discuss the versatility of HATSEQ by using a Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) ChIP-Seq data-set, and show that the detected ROIs are highly specific for the expected STAT1 binding motif. HATSEQ is freely available at:
PMCID: PMC3810201  PMID: 24187504
bioinformatics; NGS analysis; ChIP-Seq; peak detection
5.  Error-pooling-based statistical methods for identifying novel temporal replication profiles of human chromosomes observed by DNA tiling arrays 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(9):e69.
Statistical analysis on tiling array data is extremely challenging due to the astronomically large number of sequence probes, high noise levels of individual probes and limited number of replicates in these data. To overcome these difficulties, we first developed statistical error estimation and weighted ANOVA modeling approaches to high-density tiling array data, especially the former based on an advanced error-pooling method to accurately obtain heterogeneous technical error of small-sample tiling array data. Based on these approaches, we analyzed the high-density tiling array data of the temporal replication patterns during cell-cycle S phase of synchronized HeLa cells on human chromosomes 21 and 22. We found many novel temporal replication patterns, identifying about 26% of over 1 million tiling array sequence probes with significant differential replication during the four 2-h time periods of S phase. Among these differentially replicated probes, 126 941 sequence probes were matched to 417 known genes. The majority of these genes were found to be replicated within one or two consecutive time periods, while the others were replicated at two non-consecutive time periods. Also, coding regions found to be more differentially replicated in particular time periods than noncoding regions in the gene-poor chromosome 21 (25% differentially replicated among genic probes versus 18.6% among intergenic probes), while such a phenomenon was less prominent in gene-rich chromosome 22. A rigorous statistical testing for local proximity of differentially replicated genic and intergenic probes was performed to identify significant stretches of differentially replicated sequence regions. From this analysis, we found that adjacent genes were frequently replicated at different time periods, potentially implying the existence of quite dense replication origins. Evaluating the conditional probability significance of identified gene ontology terms on chromosomes 21 and 22, we detected some over-represented molecular functions and biological processes among these differentially replicated genes, such as the ones relevant to hydrolase, transferase and receptor-binding activities. Some of these results were confirmed showing >70% consistency with cDNA microarray data that were independently generated in parallel with the tiling arrays. Thus, our improved analysis approaches specifically designed for high-density tiling array data enabled us to reliably and sensitively identify many novel temporal replication patterns on human chromosomes.
PMCID: PMC1888820  PMID: 17430969
6.  TileProbe: modeling tiling array probe effects using publicly available data 
Bioinformatics  2009;25(18):2369-2375.
Motivation: Individual probes on an Affymetrix tiling array usually behave differently. Modeling and removing these probe effects are critical for detecting signals from the array data. Current data processing techniques either require control samples or use probe sequences to model probe-specific variability, such as with MAT. Although the MAT approach can be applied without control samples, residual probe effects continue to distort the true biological signals.
Results: We propose TileProbe, a new technique that builds upon the MAT algorithm by incorporating publicly available data sets to remove tiling array probe effects. By using a large number of these readily available arrays, TileProbe robustly models the residual probe effects that MAT model cannot explain. When applied to analyzing ChIP-chip data, TileProbe performs consistently better than MAT across a variety of analytical conditions. This shows that TileProbe resolves the issue of probe-specific effects more completely.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC2735670  PMID: 19592393
7.  Tiling microarray analysis of rice chromosome 10 to identify the transcriptome and relate its expression to chromosomal architecture 
Genome Biology  2005;6(6):R52.
A transcriptome analysis of chromosome 10 of 2 rice subspecies identifies 549 new gene models and gives experimental evidence for around 75% of the previously unsupported predicted genes.
Sequencing and annotation of the genome of rice (Oryza sativa) have generated gene models in numbers that top all other fully sequenced species, with many lacking recognizable sequence homology to known genes. Experimental evaluation of these gene models and identification of new models will facilitate rice genome annotation and the application of this knowledge to other more complex cereal genomes.
We report here an analysis of the chromosome 10 transcriptome of the two major rice subspecies, japonica and indica, using oligonucleotide tiling microarrays. This analysis detected expression of approximately three-quarters of the gene models without previous experimental evidence in both subspecies. Cloning and sequence analysis of the previously unsupported models suggests that the predicted gene structure of nearly half of those models needs improvement. Coupled with comparative gene model mapping, the tiling microarray analysis identified 549 new models for the japonica chromosome, representing an 18% increase in the annotated protein-coding capacity. Furthermore, an asymmetric distribution of genome elements along the chromosome was found that coincides with the cytological definition of the heterochromatin and euchromatin domains. The heterochromatin domain appears to associate with distinct chromosome level transcriptional activities under normal and stress conditions.
These results demonstrated the utility of genome tiling microarray in evaluating annotated rice gene models and in identifying novel transcriptional units. The tiling microarray sanalysis further revealed a chromosome-wide transcription pattern that suggests a role for transposable element-enriched heterochromatin in shaping global transcription in response to environmental changes in rice.
PMCID: PMC1175972  PMID: 15960804
8.  Use of tiling array data and RNA secondary structure predictions to identify noncoding RNA genes 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:244.
Within the last decade a large number of noncoding RNA genes have been identified, but this may only be the tip of the iceberg. Using comparative genomics a large number of sequences that have signals concordant with conserved RNA secondary structures have been discovered in the human genome. Moreover, genome wide transcription profiling with tiling arrays indicate that the majority of the genome is transcribed.
We have combined tiling array data with genome wide structural RNA predictions to search for novel noncoding and structural RNA genes that are expressed in the human neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-AS. Using this strategy, we identify thousands of human candidate RNA genes. To further verify the expression of these genes, we focused on candidate genes that had a stable hairpin structures or a high level of covariance. Using northern blotting, we verify the expression of 2 out of 3 of the hairpin structures and 3 out of 9 high covariance structures in SK-N-AS cells.
Our results demonstrate that many human noncoding, structured and conserved RNA genes remain to be discovered and that tissue specific tiling array data can be used in combination with computational predictions of sequences encoding structural RNAs to improve the search for such genes.
PMCID: PMC1949828  PMID: 17645787
9.  ARTADE2DB: Improved Statistical Inferences for Arabidopsis Gene Functions and Structure Predictions by Dynamic Structure-Based Dynamic Expression (DSDE) Analyses 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2011;52(2):254-264.
Recent advances in technologies for observing high-resolution genomic activities, such as whole-genome tiling arrays and high-throughput sequencers, provide detailed information for understanding genome functions. However, the functions of 50% of known Arabidopsis thaliana genes remain unknown or are annotated only on the basis of static analyses such as protein motifs or similarities. In this paper, we describe dynamic structure-based dynamic expression (DSDE) analysis, which sequentially predicts both structural and functional features of transcripts. We show that DSDE analysis inferred gene functions 12% more precisely than static structure-based dynamic expression (SSDE) analysis or conventional co-expression analysis based on previously determined gene structures of A. thaliana. This result suggests that more precise structural information than the fixed conventional annotated structures is crucial for co-expression analysis in systems biology of transcriptional regulation and dynamics. Our DSDE method, ARabidopsis Tiling-Array-based Detection of Exons version 2 and over-representation analysis (ARTADE2-ORA), precisely predicts each gene structure by combining two statistical analyses: a probe-wise co-expression analysis of multiple transcriptome measurements and a Markov model analysis of genome sequences. ARTADE2-ORA successfully identified the true functions of about 90% of functionally annotated genes, inferred the functions of 98% of functionally unknown genes and predicted 1,489 new gene structures and functions. We developed a database ARTADE2DB that integrates not only the information predicted by ARTADE2-ORA but also annotations and other functional information, such as phenotypes and literature citations, and is expected to contribute to the study of the functional genomics of A. thaliana. URL:
PMCID: PMC3037080  PMID: 21227933
Arabidopsis thaliana; Database; Function prediction; Genome tiling array; Unknown genes
10.  BioTile, A Perl based tool for the identification of differentially enriched regions in tiling microarray data 
BMC Bioinformatics  2013;14:76.
Genome-wide tiling array experiments are increasingly used for the analysis of DNA methylation. Because DNA methylation patterns are tissue and cell type specific, the detection of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) with small effect size is a necessary feature of tiling microarray ‘peak’ finding algorithms, as cellular heterogeneity within a studied tissue may lead to a dilution of the phenotypically relevant effects. Additionally, the ability to detect short length DMRs is necessary as biologically relevant signal may occur in focused regions throughout the genome.
We present a free open-source Perl application, Binding Intensity Only Tile array analysis or “BioTile”, for the identification of differentially enriched regions (DERs) in tiling array data. The application of BioTile to non-smoothed data allows for the identification of shorter length and smaller effect-size DERs, while correcting for probe specific variation by inversely weighting on probe variance through a permutation corrected meta-analysis procedure employed at identified regions. BioTile exhibits higher power to identify significant DERs of low effect size and across shorter genomic stretches as compared to other peak finding algorithms, while not sacrificing power to detect longer DERs.
BioTile represents an easy to use analysis option applicable to multiple microarray platforms, allowing for its integration into the analysis workflow of array data analysis.
PMCID: PMC3599767  PMID: 23452827
DNA methylation; Differentially methylated region; Tiling microarray; Algorithm; Epigenetic
11.  Custom Design and Analysis of High-Density Oligonucleotide Bacterial Tiling Microarrays 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e5943.
High-density tiling microarrays are a powerful tool for the characterization of complete genomes. The two major computational challenges associated with custom-made arrays are design and analysis. Firstly, several genome dependent variables, such as the genome's complexity and sequence composition, need to be considered in the design to ensure a high quality microarray. Secondly, since tiling projects today very often exceed the limits of conventional array-experiments, researchers cannot use established computer tools designed for commercial arrays, and instead have to redesign previous methods or create novel tools.
Principal Findings
Here we describe the multiple aspects involved in the design of tiling arrays for transcriptome analysis and detail the normalisation and analysis procedures for such microarrays. We introduce a novel design method to make two 280,000 feature microarrays covering the entire genome of the bacterial species Escherichia coli and Neisseria meningitidis, respectively, as well as the use of multiple copies of control probe-sets on tiling microarrays. Furthermore, a novel normalisation and background estimation procedure for tiling arrays is presented along with a method for array analysis focused on detection of short transcripts. The design, normalisation and analysis methods have been applied in various experiments and several of the detected novel short transcripts have been biologically confirmed by Northern blot tests.
Tiling-arrays are becoming increasingly applicable in genomic research, but researchers still lack both the tools for custom design of arrays, as well as the systems and procedures for analysis of the vast amount of data resulting from such experiments. We believe that the methods described herein will be a useful contribution and resource for researchers designing and analysing custom tiling arrays for both bacteria and higher organisms.
PMCID: PMC2691959  PMID: 19536279
12.  Dynamic probe selection for studying microbial transcriptome with high-density genomic tiling microarrays 
BMC Bioinformatics  2010;11:82.
Current commercial high-density oligonucleotide microarrays can hold millions of probe spots on a single microscopic glass slide and are ideal for studying the transcriptome of microbial genomes using a tiling probe design. This paper describes a comprehensive computational pipeline implemented specifically for designing tiling probe sets to study microbial transcriptome profiles.
The pipeline identifies every possible probe sequence from both forward and reverse-complement strands of all DNA sequences in the target genome including circular or linear chromosomes and plasmids. Final probe sequence lengths are adjusted based on the maximal oligonucleotide synthesis cycles and best isothermality allowed. Optimal probes are then selected in two stages - sequential and gap-filling. In the sequential stage, probes are selected from sequence windows tiled alongside the genome. In the gap-filling stage, additional probes are selected from the largest gaps between adjacent probes that have already been selected, until a predefined number of probes is reached. Selection of the highest quality probe within each window and gap is based on five criteria: sequence uniqueness, probe self-annealing, melting temperature, oligonucleotide length, and probe position.
The probe selection pipeline evaluates global and local probe sequence properties and selects a set of probes dynamically and evenly distributed along the target genome. Unique to other similar methods, an exact number of non-redundant probes can be designed to utilize all the available probe spots on any chosen microarray platform. The pipeline can be applied to microbial genomes when designing high-density tiling arrays for comparative genomics, ChIP chip, gene expression and comprehensive transcriptome studies.
PMCID: PMC2836303  PMID: 20144223
13.  Transcriptional analysis of highly syntenic regions between Medicago truncatula and Glycine max using tiling microarrays 
Genome Biology  2008;9(3):R57.
The comparative transcriptional analysis of highly syntenic regions in six different organ types between Medicago truncatula (barrel medic) and Glycine max (soybean), using nucleotide tiling microarrays, provides insights into genome organization and transcriptional regulation in these legume plants.
Legumes are the third largest family of flowering plants and are unique among crop species in their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. As a result of recent genome sequencing efforts, legumes are now one of a few plant families with extensive genomic and transcriptomic data available in multiple species. The unprecedented complexity and impending completeness of these data create opportunities for new approaches to discovery.
We report here a transcriptional analysis in six different organ types of syntenic regions totaling approximately 1 Mb between the legume plants barrel medic (Medicago truncatula) and soybean (Glycine max) using oligonucleotide tiling microarrays. This analysis detected transcription of over 80% of the predicted genes in both species. We also identified 499 and 660 transcriptionally active regions from barrel medic and soybean, respectively, over half of which locate outside of the predicted exons. We used the tiling array data to detect differential gene expression in the six examined organ types and found several genes that are preferentially expressed in the nodule. Further investigation revealed that some collinear genes exhibit different expression patterns between the two species.
These results demonstrate the utility of genome tiling microarrays in generating transcriptomic data to complement computational annotation of the newly available legume genome sequences. The tiling microarray data was further used to quantify gene expression levels in multiple organ types of two related legume species. Further development of this method should provide a new approach to comparative genomics aimed at elucidating genome organization and transcriptional regulation.
PMCID: PMC2397509  PMID: 18348734
14.  TiArA: A Virtual Appliance for the Analysis of Tiling Array Data 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e9993.
Genomic tiling arrays have been described in the scientific literature since 2003, yet there is a shortage of user-friendly applications available for their analysis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Tiling Array Analyzer (TiArA) is a software program that provides a user-friendly graphical interface for the background subtraction, normalization, and summarization of data acquired through the Affymetrix tiling array platform. The background signal is empirically measured using a group of nonspecific probes with varying levels of GC content and normalization is performed to enforce a common dynamic range.
TiArA is implemented as a standalone program for Linux systems and is available as a cross-platform virtual machine that will run under most modern operating systems using virtualization software such as Sun VirtualBox or VMware. The software is available as a Debian package or a virtual appliance at
PMCID: PMC2848623  PMID: 20376318
15.  Analysis of tiling array expression studies with flexible designs in Bioconductor (waveTiling) 
BMC Bioinformatics  2012;13:234.
Existing statistical methods for tiling array transcriptome data either focus on transcript discovery in one biological or experimental condition or on the detection of differential expression between two conditions. Increasingly often, however, biologists are interested in time-course studies, studies with more than two conditions or even multiple-factor studies. As these studies are currently analyzed with the traditional microarray analysis techniques, they do not exploit the genome-wide nature of tiling array data to its full potential.
We present an R Bioconductor package, waveTiling, which implements a wavelet-based model for analyzing transcriptome data and extends it towards more complex experimental designs. With waveTiling the user is able to discover (1) group-wise expressed regions, (2) differentially expressed regions between any two groups in single-factor studies and in (3) multifactorial designs. Moreover, for time-course experiments it is also possible to detect (4) linear time effects and (5) a circadian rhythm of transcripts. By considering the expression values of the individual tiling probes as a function of genomic position, effect regions can be detected regardless of existing annotation. Three case studies with different experimental set-ups illustrate the use and the flexibility of the model-based transcriptome analysis.
The waveTiling package provides the user with a convenient tool for the analysis of tiling array trancriptome data for a multitude of experimental set-ups. Regardless of the study design, the probe-wise analysis allows for the detection of transcriptional effects in both exonic, intronic and intergenic regions, without prior consultation of existing annotation.
PMCID: PMC3558343  PMID: 22974078
16.  Comprehensive copy number profiles of breast cancer cell model genomes 
Breast Cancer Research  2006;8(1):R9.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women worldwide and consequently has been extensively investigated in terms of histopathology, immunochemistry and familial history. Advances in genome-wide approaches have contributed to molecular classification with respect to genomic changes and their subsequent effects on gene expression. Cell lines have provided a renewable resource that is readily used as model systems for breast cancer cell biology. A thorough characterization of their genomes to identify regions of segmental DNA loss (potential tumor-suppressor-containing loci) and gain (potential oncogenic loci) would greatly facilitate the interpretation of biological data derived from such cells. In this study we characterized the genomes of seven of the most commonly used breast cancer model cell lines at unprecedented resolution using a newly developed whole-genome tiling path genomic DNA array.
Breast cancer model cell lines MCF-7, BT-474, MDA-MB-231, T47D, SK-BR-3, UACC-893 and ZR-75-30 were investigated for genomic alterations with the submegabase-resolution tiling array (SMRT) array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) platform. SMRT array CGH provides tiling coverage of the human genome permitting break-point detection at about 80 kilobases resolution. Two novel discrete alterations identified by array CGH were verified by fluorescence in situ hybridization.
Whole-genome tiling path array CGH analysis identified novel high-level alterations and fine-mapped previously reported regions yielding candidate genes. In brief, 75 high-level gains and 48 losses were observed and their respective boundaries were documented. Complex alterations involving multiple levels of change were observed on chromosome arms 1p, 8q, 9p, 11q, 15q, 17q and 20q. Furthermore, alignment of whole-genome profiles enabled simultaneous assessment of copy number status of multiple components of the same biological pathway. Investigation of about 60 loci containing genes associated with the epidermal growth factor family (epidermal growth factor receptor, HER2, HER3 and HER4) revealed that all seven cell lines harbor copy number changes to multiple genes in these pathways.
The intrinsic genetic differences between these cell lines will influence their biologic and pharmacologic response as an experimental model. Knowledge of segmental changes in these genomes deduced from our study will facilitate the interpretation of biological data derived from such cells.
PMCID: PMC1413994  PMID: 16417655
17.  Experimental annotation of the human pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum transcribed regions using high-resolution tiling arrays 
BMC Microbiology  2011;11:216.
The fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum is thought to be the most common cause of fungal respiratory infections in immunocompetent humans, yet little is known about its biology. Here we provide the first genome-wide studies to experimentally validate its genome annotation. A functional interrogation of the Histoplasma genome provides critical support for continued investigation into the biology and pathogenesis of H. capsulatum and related fungi.
We employed a three-pronged approach to provide a functional annotation for the H. capsulatum G217B strain. First, we probed high-density tiling arrays with labeled cDNAs from cells grown under diverse conditions. These data defined 6,172 transcriptionally active regions (TARs), providing validation of 6,008 gene predictions. Interestingly, 22% of these predictions showed evidence of anti-sense transcription. Additionally, we detected transcription of 264 novel genes not present in the original gene predictions. To further enrich our analysis, we incorporated expression data from whole-genome oligonucleotide microarrays. These expression data included profiling under growth conditions that were not represented in the tiling experiment, and validated an additional 2,249 gene predictions. Finally, we compared the G217B gene predictions to other available fungal genomes, and observed that an additional 254 gene predictions had an ortholog in a different fungal species, suggesting that they represent genuine coding sequences.
These analyses yielded a high confidence set of validated gene predictions for H. capsulatum. The transcript sets resulting from this study are a valuable resource for further experimental characterization of this ubiquitous fungal pathogen. The data is available for interactive exploration at
PMCID: PMC3207942  PMID: 21958208
18.  Support vector machines-based identification of alternative splicing in Arabidopsis thaliana from whole-genome tiling arrays 
BMC Bioinformatics  2011;12:55.
Alternative splicing (AS) is a process which generates several distinct mRNA isoforms from the same gene by splicing different portions out of the precursor transcript. Due to the (patho-)physiological importance of AS, a complete inventory of AS is of great interest. While this is in reach for human and mammalian model organisms, our knowledge of AS in plants has remained more incomplete. Experimental approaches for monitoring AS are either based on transcript sequencing or rely on hybridization to DNA microarrays. Among the microarray platforms facilitating the discovery of AS events, tiling arrays are well-suited for identifying intron retention, the most prevalent type of AS in plants. However, analyzing tiling array data is challenging, because of high noise levels and limited probe coverage.
In this work, we present a novel method to detect intron retentions (IR) and exon skips (ES) from tiling arrays. While statistical tests have typically been proposed for this purpose, our method instead utilizes support vector machines (SVMs) which are appreciated for their accuracy and robustness to noise. Existing EST and cDNA sequences served for supervised training and evaluation. Analyzing a large collection of publicly available microarray and sequence data for the model plant A. thaliana, we demonstrated that our method is more accurate than existing approaches. The method was applied in a genome-wide screen which resulted in the discovery of 1,355 IR events. A comparison of these IR events to the TAIR annotation and a large set of short-read RNA-seq data showed that 830 of the predicted IR events are novel and that 525 events (39%) overlap with either the TAIR annotation or the IR events inferred from the RNA-seq data.
The method developed in this work expands the scarce repertoire of analysis tools for the identification of alternative mRNA splicing from whole-genome tiling arrays. Our predictions are highly enriched with known AS events and complement the A. thaliana genome annotation with respect to AS. Since all predicted AS events can be precisely attributed to experimental conditions, our work provides a basis for follow-up studies focused on the elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms underlying tissue-specific and stress-dependent AS in plants.
PMCID: PMC3051901  PMID: 21324185
19.  Toward a universal microarray: prediction of gene expression through nearest-neighbor probe sequence identification 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(15):e99.
A generic DNA microarray design applicable to any species would greatly benefit comparative genomics. We have addressed the feasibility of such a design by leveraging the great feature densities and relatively unbiased nature of genomic tiling microarrays. Specifically, we first divided each Homo sapiens Refseq-derived gene's spliced nucleotide sequence into all of its possible contiguous 25 nt subsequences. For each of these 25 nt subsequences, we searched a recent human transcript mapping experiment's probe design for the 25 nt probe sequence having the fewest mismatches with the subsequence, but that did not match the subsequence exactly. Signal intensities measured with each gene's nearest-neighbor features were subsequently averaged to predict their gene expression levels in each of the experiment's thirty-three hybridizations. We examined the fidelity of this approach in terms of both sensitivity and specificity for detecting actively transcribed genes, for transcriptional consistency between exons of the same gene, and for reproducibility between tiling array designs. Taken together, our results provide proof-of-principle for probing nucleic acid targets with off-target, nearest-neighbor features.
PMCID: PMC1976448  PMID: 17686789
20.  Decoding pooled RNAi screens by means of barcode tiling arrays 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:7.
RNAi screens via pooled short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) have recently become a powerful tool for the identification of essential genes in mammalian cells. In the past years, several pooled large-scale shRNA screens have identified a variety of genes involved in cancer cell proliferation. All of those studies employed microarray analysis, utilizing either the shRNA's half hairpin sequence or an additional shRNA-associated 60 nt barcode sequence as a molecular tag. Here we describe a novel method to decode pooled RNAi screens, namely barcode tiling array analysis, and demonstrate how this approach can be used to precisely quantify the abundance of individual shRNAs from a pool.
We synthesized DNA microarrays with six overlapping 25 nt long tiling probes complementary to each unique 60 nt molecular barcode sequence associated with every shRNA expression construct. By analyzing dilution series of expression constructs we show how our approach allows quantification of shRNA abundance from a pool and how it clearly outperforms the commonly used analysis via the shRNA's half hairpin sequences. We further demonstrate how barcode tiling arrays can be used to predict anti-proliferative effects of individual shRNAs from pooled negative selection screens. Out of a pool of 305 shRNAs, we identified 28 candidate shRNAs to fully or partially impair the viability of the breast carcinoma cell line MDA-MB-231. Individual validation of a subset of eleven shRNA expression constructs with potential inhibitory, as well as non-inhibitory, effects on the cell line proliferation provides further evidence for the accuracy of the barcode tiling approach.
In summary, we present an improved method for the rapid, quantitative and statistically robust analysis of pooled RNAi screens. Our experimental approach, coupled with commercially available lentiviral vector shRNA libraries, has the potential to greatly facilitate the discovery of putative targets for cancer therapy as well as sensitizers of drug toxicity.
PMCID: PMC2824726  PMID: 20051122
21.  Integrating Prior Knowledge in Multiple Testing under Dependence with Applications to Detecting Differential DNA Methylation 
Biometrics  2012;68(3):774-783.
DNA methylation has emerged as an important hallmark of epigenetics. Numerous platforms including tiling arrays and next generation sequencing, and experimental protocols are available for profiling DNA methylation. Similar to other tiling array data, DNA methylation data shares the characteristics of inherent correlation structure among nearby probes. However, unlike gene expression or protein DNA binding data, the varying CpG density which gives rise to CpG island, shore and shelf definition provides exogenous information in detecting differential methylation. This paper aims to introduce a robust testing and probe ranking procedure based on a non-homogeneous hidden Markov model that incorporates the above-mentioned features for detecting differential methylation. We revisit the seminal work of Sun and Cai (2009, J. R. Stat. Soc. B. 71, 393-424) and propose modeling the non-null using a non-parametric symmetric distribution in two-sided hypothesis testing. We show that this model improves probe ranking and is robust to model misspecification based on extensive simulation studies. We further illustrate that our proposed framework achieves good operating characteristics as compared to commonly used methods in real DNA methylation data that aims to detect differential methylation sites.
PMCID: PMC3449228  PMID: 22260651
Non-homogeneous Hidden Markov Model; False Discovery Rate; Microarray; CpG Island; Kernel Density Estimation; Semiparametric Model
22.  Detecting transcriptionally active regions using genomic tiling arrays 
Genome Biology  2006;7(7):R59.
A new method for designing and integrating genomic tiling array data is described and applied to Anopheles and human arrays.
We have developed a method for interpreting genomic tiling array data, implemented as the program TranscriptionDetector. Probed loci expressed above background are identified by combining replicates in a way that makes minimal assumptions about the data. We performed medium-resolution Anopheles gambiae tiling array experiments and found extensive transcription of both coding and non-coding regions. Our method also showed improved detection of transcriptional units when applied to high-density tiling array data for ten human chromosomes.
PMCID: PMC1779562  PMID: 16859498
23.  A hidden Markov model approach for determining expression from genomic tiling micro arrays 
BMC Bioinformatics  2006;7:239.
Genomic tiling micro arrays have great potential for identifying previously undiscovered coding as well as non-coding transcription. To-date, however, analyses of these data have been performed in an ad hoc fashion.
We present a probabilistic procedure, ExpressHMM, that adaptively models tiling data prior to predicting expression on genomic sequence. A hidden Markov model (HMM) is used to model the distributions of tiling array probe scores in expressed and non-expressed regions. The HMM is trained on sets of probes mapped to regions of annotated expression and non-expression. Subsequently, prediction of transcribed fragments is made on tiled genomic sequence. The prediction is accompanied by an expression probability curve for visual inspection of the supporting evidence. We test ExpressHMM on data from the Cheng et al. (2005) tiling array experiments on ten Human chromosomes [1]. Results can be downloaded and viewed from our web site [2].
The value of adaptive modelling of fluorescence scores prior to categorisation into expressed and non-expressed probes is demonstrated. Our results indicate that our adaptive approach is superior to the previous analysis in terms of nucleotide sensitivity and transfrag specificity.
PMCID: PMC1481622  PMID: 16672042
24.  An approach to comparing tiling array and high throughput sequencing technologies for genomic transcript mapping 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:150.
There are two main technologies for transcriptome profiling, namely, tiling microarrays and high-throughput sequencing. Recently there has been a tremendous amount of excitement about the latter because of the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies and its promises. Consequently, the question of the moment is how these two technologies compare. Here we attempt to develop an approach to do a fair comparison of transcripts identified from tiling microarray and MPSS sequencing data.
This comparison is a challenging task because the sequencing data is discrete while the tiling array data is continuous. We use the published rice and Arabidopsis datasets which provide currently best matched sets of arrays and sequencing experiments using a slightly earlier generation of sequencing, the MPSS tag sequencing technology. After scoring the arrays consistently in both the organisms, a first pass comparison reveals a surprisingly small overlap in transcripts of 22% and 66% respectively, in rice and Arabidopsis. However, when we do the analysis in detail, we find that this is an underestimate. In particular, when we map the probe intensities onto the sequencing tags and then look at their intensity distribution, we see that they are very similar to exons. Furthermore, restricting our comparison to only protein-coding gene loci revealed a very good overlap between the two technologies.
Our approach to compare genome tiling microarray and MPSS sequencing data suggests that there is actually a reasonable overlap in transcripts identified by the two technologies. This overlap is distorted by the scoring and thresholding in the tiling array scoring procedure.
PMCID: PMC2764720  PMID: 19630981
25.  Wavelet-based detection of transcriptional activity on a novel Staphylococcus aureus tiling microarray 
BMC Bioinformatics  2012;13:222.
High-density oligonucleotide microarray is an appropriate technology for genomic analysis, and is particulary useful in the generation of transcriptional maps, ChIP-on-chip studies and re-sequencing of the genome.Transcriptome analysis of tiling microarray data facilitates the discovery of novel transcripts and the assessment of differential expression in diverse experimental conditions. Although new technologies such as next-generation sequencing have appeared, microarrays might still be useful for the study of small genomes or for the analysis of genomic regions with custom microarrays due to their lower price and good accuracy in expression quantification.
Here, we propose a novel wavelet-based method, named ZCL (zero-crossing lines), for the combined denoising and segmentation of tiling signals. The denoising is performed with the classical SUREshrink method and the detection of transcriptionally active regions is based on the computation of the Continuous Wavelet Transform (CWT). In particular, the detection of the transitions is implemented as the thresholding of the zero-crossing lines. The algorithm described has been applied to the public Saccharomyces cerevisiae dataset and it has been compared with two well-known algorithms: pseudo-median sliding window (PMSW) and the structural change model (SCM). As a proof-of-principle, we applied the ZCL algorithm to the analysis of the custom tiling microarray hybridization results of a S. aureus mutant deficient in the sigma B transcription factor. The challenge was to identify those transcripts whose expression decreases in the absence of sigma B.
The proposed method archives the best performance in terms of positive predictive value (PPV) while its sensitivity is similar to the other algorithms used for the comparison. The computation time needed to process the transcriptional signals is low as compared with model-based methods and in the same range to those based on the use of filters. Automatic parameter selection has been incorporated and moreover, it can be easily adapted to a parallel implementation. We can conclude that the proposed method is well suited for the analysis of tiling signals, in which transcriptional activity is often hidden in the noise. Finally, the quantification and differential expression analysis of S. aureus dataset have demonstrated the valuable utility of this novel device to the biological analysis of the S. aureus transcriptome.
PMCID: PMC3563573  PMID: 22950634

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