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A global map of human gene expression

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Although there is only one human genome sequence, different genes are expressed in many different cell types and tissues, as well as in different developmental stages or diseases. The structure of this ‘expression space’ is still largely unknown, as most transcriptomics experiments focus on sampling small regions. We have constructed a global gene expression map by integrating microarray data from 5,372 human samples representing 369 different cell and tissue types, disease states and cell lines. An analysis of the structure of the expression space reveals that it can be described by a small number of distinct expression profile classes and that the first three principal components of this space have biological interpretations. The hematopoietic system, solid tissues and incompletely differentiated cell types are arranged on the first principal axis; cell lines, neoplastic samples and nonneoplastic primary tissue-derived samples are on the second principal axis; and nervous system is separated from the rest of the samples on the third axis. We also show below that most cell lines cluster together rather than with their tissues of origin.

This talk is part of the Seminars on Quantitative Biology @ CRUK Cambridge Institute series.

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