UBC Theses and Dissertations
Comparisons of statistical modeling for constructing gene regulatory networks Chen, Xiaohui
Genetic regulatory networks are of great importance in terms of scientific interests and practical medical importance. Since a number of high-throughput measurement devices are available, such as microarrays and sequencing techniques, regulatory networks have been intensively studied over the last decade. Based on these high-throughput data sets, statistical interpretations of these billions of bits are crucial for biologist to extract meaningful results. In this thesis, we compare a variety of existing regression models and apply them to construct regulatory networks which span trancription factors and microRNAs. We also propose an extended algorithm to address the local optimum issue in finding the Maximum A Posterjorj estimator. An E. coli mRNA expression microarray data set with known bona fide interactions is used to evaluate our models and we show that our regression networks with a properly chosen prior can perform comparably to the state-of-the-art regulatory network construction algorithm. Finally, we apply our models on a p53-related data set, NCI-60 data. By further incorporating available prior structural information from sequencing data, we identify several significantly enriched interactions with cell proliferation function. In both of the two data sets, we select specific examples to show that many regulatory interactions can be confirmed by previous studies or functional enrichment analysis. Through comparing statistical models, we conclude from the project that combining different models with over-representation analysis and prior structural information can improve the quality of prediction and facilitate biological interpretation. Keywords: regulatory network, variable selection, penalized maximum likelihood estimation, optimization, functional enrichment analysis.
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