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1.  cSSMD: assessing collective activity for addressing off-target effects in genome-scale RNA interference screens 
Bioinformatics  2011;27(20):2775-2781.
Motivation: Off-target activity commonly exists in RNA interference (RNAi) screens and often generates false positives. Existing analytic methods for addressing the off-target effects are demonstrably inadequate in RNAi confirmatory screens.
Results: Here, we present an analytic method assessing the collective activity of multiple short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting a gene. Using this method, we can not only reduce the impact of off-target activities, but also evaluate the specific effect of an siRNA, thus providing information about potential off-target effects. Using in-house RNAi screens, we demonstrate that our method obtains more reasonable and sensible results than current methods such as the redundant siRNA activity (RSA) method, the RNAi gene enrichment ranking (RIGER) method, the frequency approach and the t-test.
Contact: xiaohua_zhang@merck.com
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btr474
PMCID: PMC3202303  PMID: 21846737
2.  Kidney Injury Molecule-1 Outperforms Traditional Biomarkers of Kidney Injury in Multi-site Preclinical Biomarker Qualification Studies 
Nature biotechnology  2010;28(5):478-485.
Kidney toxicity accounts for a significant percentage of morbidity and drug candidate failure. Serum creatinine (SCr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) have been used to monitor kidney dysfunction for over a century but these markers are insensitive and non-specific. In multi-site preclinical rat toxicology studies the diagnostic performance of urinary kidney injury molecule-1 (Kim-1) was compared to traditional biomarkers as predictors of kidney tubular histopathologic changes, currently considered the “gold standard” of nephrotoxicity. In multiple models of kidney injury, urinary Kim-1 significantly outperformed SCr and BUN. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for Kim-1 was between 0.91 and 0.99 as compared to 0.79 to 0.9 for BUN and 0.73 to 0.85 for SCr. Thus urinary Kim-1 is the first injury biomarker of kidney toxicity qualified by the FDA and EMEA and is expected to significantly improve kidney safety monitoring.
doi:10.1038/nbt.1623
PMCID: PMC2885849  PMID: 20458318
3.  Hit selection with false discovery rate control in genome-scale RNAi screens 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;36(14):4667-4679.
RNA interference (RNAi) is a modality in which small double-stranded RNA molecules (siRNAs) designed to lead to the degradation of specific mRNAs are introduced into cells or organisms. siRNA libraries have been developed in which siRNAs targeting virtually every gene in the human genome are designed, synthesized and are presented for introduction into cells by transfection in a microtiter plate array. These siRNAs can then be transfected into cells using high-throughput screening (HTS) methodologies. The goal of RNAi HTS is to identify a set of siRNAs that inhibit or activate defined cellular phenotypes. The commonly used analysis methods including median ± kMAD have issues about error rates in multiple hypothesis testing and plate-wise versus experiment-wise analysis. We propose a methodology based on a Bayesian framework to address these issues. Our approach allows for sharing of information across plates in a plate-wise analysis, which obviates the need for choosing either a plate-wise or experimental-wise analysis. The proposed approach incorporates information from reliable controls to achieve a higher power and a balance between the contribution from the samples and control wells. Our approach provides false discovery rate (FDR) control to address multiple testing issues and it is robust to outliers.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkn435
PMCID: PMC2504311  PMID: 18628291
4.  Diagnosis of drug-induced renal tubular toxicity using global gene expression profiles 
Toxicogenomics can measure the expression of thousands of genes to identify changes associated with drug induced toxicities. It is expected that toxicogenomics can be an alternative or complementary approach in preclinical drug safety evaluation to identify or predict drug induced toxicities. One of the major concerns in applying toxicogenomics to diagnose or predict drug induced organ toxicity, is how generalizable the statistical classification model is when derived from small datasets? Here we presented that a diagnosis of kidney proximal tubule toxicity, measured by pathology, can successfully be achieved even with a study design of limited number of training studies or samples. We selected a total of ten kidney toxicants, designed the in life study with multiple dose and multiple time points to cover samples at doses and time points with or without concurrent toxicity. We employed SVM (Support Vector Machine) as the classification algorithm for the toxicogenomic diagnosis of kidney proximal tubule toxicity. Instead of applying cross validation methods, we used an independent testing set by dividing the studies or samples into independent training and testing sets to evaluate the diagnostic performance. We achieved a Sn (sensitivity) = 88% and a Sp (specificity) = 91%. The diagnosis performance underscores the potential application of toxicogenomics in a preclinical lead optimization process of drugs entering into development.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-5-47
PMCID: PMC2194664  PMID: 17908307
5.  Dorsal horn-enriched genes identified by DNA microarray, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry 
BMC Neuroscience  2002;3:11.
Background
Neurons in the dorsal spinal cord play important roles in nociception and pain. These neurons receive input from peripheral sensory neurons and then transmit the signals to the brain, as well as receive and integrate descending control signals from the brain. Many molecules important for pain transmission have been demonstrated to be localized to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Further understanding of the molecular interactions and signaling pathways in the dorsal horn neurons will require a better knowledge of the molecular neuroanatomy in the dorsal spinal cord.
Results
A large scale screening was conducted for genes with enriched expression in the dorsal spinal cord using DNA microarray and quantitative real-time PCR. In addition to genes known to be specifically expressed in the dorsal spinal cord, other neuropeptides, receptors, ion channels, and signaling molecules were also found enriched in the dorsal spinal cord. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry revealed the cellular expression of a subset of these genes. The regulation of a subset of the genes was also studied in the spinal nerve ligation (SNL) neuropathic pain model. In general, we found that the genes that are enriched in the dorsal spinal cord were not among those found to be up-regulated in the spinal nerve ligation model of neuropathic pain. This study also provides a level of validation of the use of DNA microarrays in conjunction with our novel analysis algorithm (SAFER) for the identification of differences in gene expression.
Conclusion
This study identified molecules that are enriched in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and provided a molecular neuroanatomy in the spinal cord, which will aid in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms important in nociception and pain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2202-3-11
PMCID: PMC126259  PMID: 12188929

Results 1-5 (5)