Meta-analysis of differentiating mouse embryonic stem cell gene expression kinetics reveals early change of a small gene set

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Meta-analysis of differentiating mouse embryonic stem cell gene expression kinetics reveals early change of a small gene set

TitleMeta-analysis of differentiating mouse embryonic stem cell gene expression kinetics reveals early change of a small gene set
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsGlover, CH, Marin, M, Eaves, CJ, Helgason, CD, Piret, JM, Bryan, J
JournalPLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY
Volume2
Paginatione158
Date PublishedNOV
Type of ArticleArticle
ISSN1553-734X
AbstractStem cell differentiation involves critical changes in gene expression. Identification of these should provide endpoints useful for optimizing stem cell propagation as well as potential clues about mechanisms governing stem cell maintenance. Here we describe the results of a new meta-analysis methodology applied to multiple gene expression datasets from three mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines obtained at specific time points during the course of their differentiation into various lineages. We developed methods to identify genes with expression changes that correlated with the altered frequency of functionally defined, undifferentiated ESC in culture. In each dataset, we computed a novel statistical confidence measure for every gene which captured the certainty that a particular gene exhibited an expression pattern of interest within that dataset. This permitted a joint analysis of the datasets, despite the different experimental designs. Using a ranking scheme that favored genes exhibiting patterns of interest, we focused on the top 88 genes whose expression was consistently changed when ESC were induced to differentiate. Seven of these (103728_at, 8430410A17Rik, Klf2, Nr0b1, Sox2, Tcl1, and Zfp42) showed a rapid decrease in expression concurrent with a decrease in frequency of undifferentiated cells and remained predictive when evaluated in additional maintenance and differentiating protocols. Through a novel meta-analysis, this study identifies a small set of genes whose expression is useful for identifying changes in stem cell frequencies in cultures of mouse ESC. The methods and findings have broader applicability to understanding the regulation of self-renewal of other stem cell types.
DOI10.1371/journal.pcbi.0020158