Expression2Kinases: mRNA profiling linked to multiple upstream regulatory layers

Edward Y. Chen, Huilei Xu, Simon Gordonov, Maribel P. Lim, Matthew H. Perkins, Avi Ma'ayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Motivation: Genome-wide mRNA profiling provides a snapshot of the global state of cells under different conditions. However, mRNA levels do not provide direct understanding of upstream regulatory mechanisms. Here, we present a new approach called Expression2Kinases (X2K) to identify upstream regulators likely responsible for observed patterns in genome-wide gene expression. By integrating chromatin immuno-precipitation (ChIP)-seq/chip and position weight matrices (PWMs) data, protein-protein interactions and kinase-substrate phosphorylation reactions, we can better identify regulatory mechanisms upstream of genome-wide differences in gene expression. We validated X2K by applying it to recover drug targets of food and drug administration (FDA)-approved drugs from drug perturbations followed by mRNA expression profiling; to map the regulatory landscape of 44 stem cells and their differentiating progeny; to profile upstream regulatory mechanisms of 327 breast cancer tumors; and to detect pathways from profiled hepatic stellate cells and hippocampal neurons. The X2K approach can advance our understanding of cell signaling and unravel drugs mechanisms of action.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbtr625
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


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