Background: Several computational candidate gene selection and prioritization methods have recently been developed. These in silico selection and prioritization techniques are usually based on two central approaches - the examination of similarities to known disease genes and/or the evaluation of functional annotation of genes. Each of these approaches has its own caveats. Here we employ a previously described method of candidate gene prioritization based mainly on gene annotation, in accompaniment with a technique based on the evaluation of pertinent sequence motifs or signatures, in an attempt to refine the gene prioritization approach. We apply this approach to X-linked mental retardation (XLMR), a group of heterogeneous disorders for which some of the underlying genetics is known.Results: The gene annotation-based binary filtering method yielded a ranked list of putative XLMR candidate genes with good plausibility of being associated with the development of mental retardation. In parallel, a motif finding approach based on linear discriminatory analysis (LDA) was employed to identify short sequence patterns that may discriminate XLMR from non-XLMR genes. High rates (>80%) of correct classification was achieved, suggesting that the identification of these motifs effectively captures genomic signals associated with XLMR vs. non-XLMR genes. The computational tools developed for the motif-based LDA is integrated into the freely available genomic analysis portal Galaxy (http://main.g2.bx.psu.edu/). Nine genes (APLN, ZC4H2, MAGED4, MAGED4B, RAP2C, FAM156A, FAM156B, TBL1X, and UXT) were highlighted as highly-ranked XLMR methods.Conclusions: The combination of gene annotation information and sequence motif-orientated computational candidate gene prediction methods highlight an added benefit in generating a list of plausible candidate genes, as has been demonstrated for XLMR.Reviewers: This article was reviewed by Dr Barbara Bardoni (nominated by Prof Juergen Brosius); Prof Neil Smalheiser and Dr Dustin Holloway (nominated by Prof Charles DeLisi).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Modeling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Applied Mathematics