yGenomics-based technologies in systems biology have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. These technologies generate large amounts of data. To obtain information from this data, multivariate data analysis methods are required. Many of the datasets generated in genomics are multilevel datasets, in which the variation occurs on different levels simultaneously (e.g. variation between organisms and variation in time). We introduce multilevel component analysis (MCA) into the field of metabolic fingerprinting to separate these different types of variation. This is in contrast to the commonly used principal component analysis (PCA) that is not capable of doing this: in a PCA model the different types of variation in a multilevel dataset are confounded.
MCA generates different submodels for different types of variation. These submodels are lower-dimensional component models in which the variation is approximated. These models are easier to interpret than the original data. Multilevel simultaneous component analysis (MSCA) is a method within the class of MCA models with increased interpretability, due to the fact that the time-resolved variation of all individuals is expressed in the same subspace.
MSCA is applied on a time-resolved metabolomics dataset. This dataset contains H-1 NMR spectra of urine collected from 10 monkeys at 29 time-points during 2 months. The MSCA model contains a submodel describing the biorhythms in the urine composition and a submodel describing the variation between the animals. Using MSCA the largest biorhythms in the urine composition and the largest variation between the animals are identified.
Comparison of the MSCA model to a PCA model of this data shows that the MSCA model is better interpretable: the MSCA model gives a better view on the different types of variation in the data since they are not confounded. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.