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A Bayesian mixture model for metaanalysis of microarray studies

Conlon, Erin M.
Functional & integrative genomics 2008 v.8 no.1 pp. 43-53
Bacillus subtilis, data collection, gene expression regulation, genes, microarray technology, models, statistical analysis
The increased availability of microarray data has been calling for statistical methods to integrate findings across studies. A common goal of microarray analysis is to determine differentially expressed genes between two conditions, such as treatment vs control. A recent Bayesian metaanalysis model used a prior distribution for the mean log-expression ratios that was a mixture of two normal distributions. This model centered the prior distribution of differential expression at zero, and separated genes into two groups only: expressed and nonexpressed. Here, we introduce a Bayesian three-component truncated normal mixture prior model that more flexibly assigns prior distributions to the differentially expressed genes and produces three groups of genes: up and downregulated, and nonexpressed. We found in simulations of two and five studies that the three-component model outperformed the two-component model using three comparison measures. When analyzing biological data of Bacillus subtilis, we found that the three-component model discovered more genes and omitted fewer genes for the same levels of posterior probability of differential expression than the two-component model, and discovered more genes for fixed thresholds of Bayesian false discovery. We assumed that the data sets were produced from the same microarray platform and were prescaled.