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SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences, Volume 59, Issue 7: 070105(2016) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-016-5582-0

Understanding tissue-specificity with human tissue-specific regulatory networks

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  • ReceivedMar 28, 2016
  • AcceptedMay 5, 2016
  • PublishedJun 13, 2016

Abstract

Tissue-specificity is important for the function of human body. However, it is still not clear how the functional diversity of different tissues is achieved. Here we construct gene regulatory networks in 13 human tissues by integrating large-scale transcription factor (TF)-gene regulations with gene and protein expression data. By comparing these regulatory networks, we find many tissue-specific regulations that are important for tissue identity. In particular, the tissue-specific TFs are found to regulate more genes than those expressed in multiple tissues, and the processes regulated by these tissue-specific TFs are closely related to tissue functions. Moreover, the regulations that are present in certain tissue are found to be enriched in the tissue associated disease genes, and these networks provide the molecular context of disease genes. Therefore, recognizing tissue-specific regulatory networks can help better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying diseases and identify new disease genes.


Acknowledgment

Acknowledgments

This work was partly supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61520106006, 31571364, 61532008, 61411140249, 61133010, 91529303, 61572363), Innovation Program of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (Grant No. 13ZZ072), Shanghai Pujiang Program (Grant No. 13PJD032), Ph.D. Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. 20120072110040), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, and Special Program for Applied Research on Super Computation of the NSFC-Guangdong Joint Fund (the second phase).


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