Research ArticleDevelopment

Analysis of Metagene Portraits Reveals Distinct Transitions During Kidney Organogenesis

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Sci. Signal.  09 Dec 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 49, pp. ra16
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.1163630

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Organogenesis is a multistage process, but it has been difficult, by conventional analysis, to separate stages and identify points of transition in developmentally complex organs or define genetic pathways that regulate pattern formation. We performed a detailed time-series examination of global gene expression during kidney development and then represented the resulting data as self-organizing maps (SOMs), which reduced more than 30,000 genes to 650 metagenes. Further clustering of these maps identified potential stages of development and suggested points of stability and transition during kidney organogenesis that are not obvious from either standard morphological analyses or conventional microarray clustering algorithms. We also performed entropy calculations of SOMs generated for each day of development and found correlations with morphometric parameters and expression of candidate genes that may help in orchestrating the transitions between stages of kidney development, as well as macro- and micropatterning of the organ.

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