GOstat: find statistically overrepresented Gene Ontologies within a group of genes

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Abstract

Summary

Modern experimental techniques, as for example DNA microarrays, as a result usually produce a long list of genes, which are potentially interesting in the analyzed process. In order to gain biological understanding from this type of data, it is necessary to analyze the functional annotations of all genes in this list. The Gene-Ontology (GO) database provides a useful tool to annotate and analyze the functions of a large number of genes. Here, we introduce a tool that utilizes this information to obtain an understanding of which annotations are typical for the analyzed list of genes. This program automatically obtains the GO annotations from a database and generates statistics of which annotations are overrepresented in the analyzed list of genes. This results in a list of GO terms sorted by their specificity.

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