Preservation of Ranking Order in the Expression of Human Housekeeping Genes
by Grace T. W. Shaw, Edward S. C. Shih, Chun-Houh Chen, Ming-Jing Hwang
Housekeeping (HK) genes fulfill the basic needs for a cell to survive and function properly. Their ubiquitous expression, originally thought to be constant, can vary from tissue to tissue, but this variation remains largely uncharacterized and it could not be explained by previously identified properties of HK genes such as short gene length and high GC content. By analyzing microarray expression data for human genes, we uncovered a previously unnoted characteristic of HK gene expression, namely that the ranking order of their expression levels tends to be preserved from one tissue to another. Further analysis by tensor product decomposition and pathway stratification identified three main factors of the observed ranking preservation, namely that, compared to those of non-HK (NHK) genes, the expression levels of HK genes show a greater degree of dispersion (less overlap), stableness (a smaller variation in expression between tissues), and correlation of expression. Our results shed light on regulatory mechanisms of HK gene expression that are probably different for different HK genes or pathways, but are consistent and coordinated in different tissues.
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Syndicated from:PLoS ONE
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