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GOrilla: a tool for discovery and visualization of enriched GO terms in ranked gene lists.

BMC bioinformatics | Feb 3, 2009

BACKGROUND: Since the inception of the GO annotation project, a variety of tools have been developed that support exploring and searching the GO database. In particular, a variety of tools that perform GO enrichment analysis are currently available. Most of these tools require as input a target set of genes and a background set and seek enrichment in the target set compared to the background set. A few tools also exist that support analyzing ranked lists. The latter typically rely on simulations or on union-bound correction for assigning statistical significance to the results. RESULTS: GOrilla is a web-based application that identifies enriched GO terms in ranked lists of genes, without requiring the user to provide explicit target and background sets. This is particularly useful in many typical cases where genomic data may be naturally represented as a ranked list of genes (e.g. by level of expression or of differential expression). GOrilla employs a flexible threshold statistical approach to discover GO terms that are significantly enriched at the top of a ranked gene list. Building on a complete theoretical characterization of the underlying distribution, called mHG, GOrilla computes an exact p-value for the observed enrichment, taking threshold multiple testing into account without the need for simulations. This enables rigorous statistical analysis of thousand of genes and thousands of GO terms in order of seconds. The output of the enrichment analysis is visualized as a hierarchical structure, providing a clear view of the relations between enriched GO terms. CONCLUSION: GOrilla is an efficient GO analysis tool with unique features that make a useful addition to the existing repertoire of GO enrichment tools. GOrilla's unique features and advantages over other threshold free enrichment tools include rigorous statistics, fast running time and an effective graphical representation. GOrilla is publicly available at: http://cbl-gorilla.cs.technion.ac.il

Pubmed ID: 19192299 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Algorithms | Animals | Arabidopsis | Computational Biology | Data Interpretation, Statistical | Databases, Genetic | Gene Expression Profiling | Genes | Genomics | Humans | Information Storage and Retrieval | Internet | Models, Genetic | Models, Statistical | Software | Terminology as Topic | User-Computer Interface | Yeasts

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GO

A community-based bioinformatics resource consisting of three structured controlled vocabularies (ontologies) for the annotation of gene products with respect to their molecular function, cellular component, and biological role in a species-independent manner. This initiative to standardize the representation of gene and gene product attributes across species and databases is an effort to address the need for consistent descriptions of gene products in different databases. The Gene Ontology project encourages input from the community into both the content of the GO and annotation using GO. There are three separate aspects to this effort: first, they write and maintain the ontologies themselves; second, they make cross-links between the ontologies and the genes and gene products in the collaborating databases; and third, they develop tools that facilitate the creation, maintenance and use of ontologies. The controlled vocabularies are structured so that users can query them at different levels: for example, uers can use GO to find all the gene products in the mouse genome that are involved in signal transduction, or users can zoom in on all the receptor tyrosine kinases. This structure also allows annotators to assign properties to gene products at different levels, depending on how much is known about a gene product.

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GOrilla: Gene Ontology Enrichment Analysis and Visualization Tool

A tool for identifying and visualizing enriched GO terms in ranked lists of genes. It can be run in one of two modes: * Searching for enriched GO terms that appear densely at the top of a ranked list of genes or * Searching for enriched GO terms in a target list of genes compared to a background list of genes.

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