Bayesian decomposition: Analyzing microarray data within a biological context

Michael F. Ochs, Thomas D. Moloshok, Ghislain Bidaut, Garabet Toby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The detection and correct identification of cancer, especially at an early stage, are vitally important for patient survival and quality of life. Since signaling pathways play critical roles in cancer development and metastasis, methods that reliably assess the activity of these pathways are critical to understand cancer and the response to therapy. Bayesian Decomposition (BD) identifies signatures of expression that can be linked directly to signaling pathway activity, allowing the changes in mRNA levels to be used as downstream indicators of pathway activity. Here, we demonstrate this ability by identifying the downstream expression signal associated with the mating response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and showing that this signal disappears in deletion mutants of genes critical to the MAPK signaling cascade used to trigger the response. We also show the use of BD in the contest of supervised learning, by analyzing the Mus musculus tissue-specific data set provided by Project Normal. The algorithm correctly removes routine metabolic processes, allowing tissue-specific signatures of expression to be identified. Gene ontology is used to interpret these signatures. Since a number of modern therapeutics specifically target signaling proteins, it is important to be able to identify changes in signaling pathways in order to use microarray data to interpret cancer response. By removing routine metabolic signatures and linking specific signatures to signaling pathway activity, BD makes it possible to link changes in microarray results to signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-226
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bayesian methods
  • Gene expression
  • Microarray
  • Signaling pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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