Stochastic Resonance Reveals “Pilot Light” Expression in Mammalian Genes

University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 02/2008; 3(3):e1842. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001842
Source: PubMed


Microarrays are widely used for estimation of expression of thousands of genes in a biological sample. The resolution ability of this method is limited by the background noise. Low expressed genes are detected with insufficient reliability and expression of many genes is never detected at all.
We have applied the principles of stochastic resonance to detect expression of genes from microarray signals below the background noise level. We report the periodic pattern detected in genes called "Absent" by traditional analysis. The pattern is consistent with expression of the conventionally detected genes and specific to the tissue of origin. This effect is corroborated by the analysis of oscillating gene expression in mouse (M. musculus) and yeast (S. cerevisae).
Most genes usually considered silent are in fact expressed at a very low level. Stochastic resonance can be applied to detect changes in expression pattern of low-expressed genes as well as for the validation of the probe performance in microarrays.

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