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Pathway enrichment analysis of -omics data

By Jüri Reimand, Ruth Isserlin, Veronique Voisin, Mike Kucera, Christian Tannus-Lopes, Asha Rostamianfar, Lina Wadi, Mona Meyer, Jeff Wong, Changjiang Xu, Daniele Merico, Gary D Bader

Posted 12 Dec 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/232835 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41596-018-0103-9)

Pathway enrichment analysis helps gain mechanistic insight into large gene lists typically resulting from genome scale (-omics) experiments. It identifies biological pathways that are enriched in the gene list more than expected by chance. We explain pathway enrichment analysis and present a practical step-by-step guide to help interpret gene lists resulting from RNA-seq and genome sequencing experiments. The protocol comprises three major steps: define a gene list from genome scale data, determine statistically enriched pathways, and visualize and interpret the results. We focus on differentially expressed genes and mutated cancer genes, however the described principles can be applied to diverse -omics data. The protocol is designed for biologists with no prior bioinformatics training and uses freely available software including g:Profiler, GSEA, Cytoscape and Enrichment Map.

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