we have observed that expression correlation hubs, which are inferred as part of DART, improve the consistency scores of pathway activity estimates. This indicates that hubs in relevance networks not only represent more robust markers of pathway activity but that they may also be more impor tant mediators of the functional effects of upstream pathway activity. It is important to point out again CDK inhibition that DART is an unsupervised method for inferring a subset of pathway genes that represent pathway activity. Identification of this gene pathway subset allows estimation of path way activity at the level of individual samples. Therefore, a direct comparison with the Signalling Pathway Impact Analysis method is difficult, because SPIA does not infer a relevant pathway gene subset, hence not allowing for individual sample activity estimates to be obtained.
Thus, instead of SPIA, we compared DART to a different supervised method which does infer a pathway gene subset, and which therefore allows single sample pathway activity estimates to be obtained. This comparison showed that in independent data sets, DART performed similarly purchase Anastrozole to CORG. Thus, supervised approaches may not outperform an unsuper vised method when testing in completely independent data. We also observed that CORG gener ally yielded very small gene subsets compared to the larger gene subnetworks inferred using DART. While a small discriminatory gene set may be advantageous from an experimental cost viewpoint, biological interpretation is less clear.
For instance, in the case of the ERBB2, MYC and TP53 perturbation signatures, Gene Set Enrichment Analysis could not be applied to the CORG gene modules since these consisted of too few genes. In contrast, GSEA on Lymphatic system the relevance gene subnetworks inferred with DART yielded the expected associations but also elucidated some novel and biologically interesting associations, such as the association of a tosedostat drug signature with the MYC DART module. A second important difference between CORG and DART is that CORG only ranks genes according to their univariate statistics, while DART ranks genes according to their degree in the relevance subnetwork. Given the importance of hubs in these expression networks, DART thus provides an improved framework for biological interpretation.
For instance, the protein kinase MELK was the top ranked hub in the ERBB2 DART module, suggesting an impor tant role for this Fingolimod distributor downstream kinase in linking cell growth to the upstream ERBB2 perturbation. Interest ingly, overexpression of MELK is a robust poor prognos tic factor in breast cancer and may thus contribute to the poor prognosis of HER2 breast cancers. Finally, we tested DART in a novel application to mul tidimensional cancer genomic data, in this instance between matched mRNA expression and imaging traits of clinical breast tumours. Interestingly, DART predicted an inverse correlation between ESR1 signalling and MMD in ER breast cancer.