Improving gene function predictions using independent transcriptional components

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The interpretation of high throughput sequencing data is limited by our incomplete functional understanding of coding and non-coding transcripts. Reliably predicting the function of such transcripts can overcome this limitation. Here we report the use of a consensus independent component analysis and guilt-by-association approach to predict over 23,000 functional groups comprised of over 55,000 coding and non-coding transcripts using publicly available transcriptomic profiles. We show that, compared to using Principal Component Analysis, Independent Component Analysis-derived transcriptional components enable more confident functionality predictions, improve predictions when new members are added to the gene sets, and are less affected by gene multi-functionality. Predictions generated using human or mouse transcriptomic data are made available for exploration in a publicly available web portal. Our understanding of the function of many transcripts is still incomplete, limiting the interpretability of transcriptomic data. Here the authors use consensus-independent component analysis, together with a guilt-by-association approach, to improve the prediction of gene function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1464
Number of pages14
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date5-Mar-2021
Publication statusPublished - 5-Mar-2021


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