- Analysis of splicing sensitive microarrays (2013)
- Due to recent technical developments, it became evident that the mammalian transcriptome is much more complex than originally expected. Alternative splicing(AS) and the transcription of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are two phenomenas which have been greatly underestimated in their frequency. Nowadays it is accepted that almost every gene has at least one alternative isoform and the number of lncRNAs exceeds the one of protein-coding genes. We built user-friendly web interfaces which can process Affymetrix GeneChip Exon 1.0 ST Arrays (exon arrays) and GeneChip Gene 1.0 ST Arrays (gene arrays)for the analysis of alternative splicing events. Results are presented with detailed annotation information and graphics to identify splice events and to facilitate biological validations. Based on two studies using exon arrays, we show how our tools were used to profile genome-wide splicing changes under silencing of Jmjd6 and under hypoxic conditions. Since gene arrays are not intended for AS analysis originally, we demonstrated their applicability by profiling alternative splicing events during embryonic heart development. To measure lncRNAs expressions with exon arrays, we completely re-annotation all probes and built a lncRNA specific annotation. To demonstrate the applicability of exon arrays in combination with our annotation, we profiled the expression of tens of thousands of lncRNAs. Further, our custom annotation allows for a detailed inspection of lncRNAs and to distinguish between isoforms, as we validated by RTPCR. To allow for a general usage to the research community, we integrated the annotation in an easy-to-use web interface, which provides various helpful features for the analysis of lncRNAs.
- Hypoxia-induced alternative splicing in endothelial cells (2012)
- BACKGROUND: Adaptation to low oxygen by changing gene expression is vitally important for cell survival and tissue development. The sprouting of new blood vessels, initiated from endothelial cells, restores the oxygen supply of ischemic tissues. In contrast to the transcriptional response induced by hypoxia, which is mainly mediated by members of the HIF family, there are only few studies investigating alternative splicing events. Therefore, we performed an exon array for the genome-wide analysis of hypoxia-related changes of alternative splicing in endothelial cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were incubated under hypoxic conditions (1% O(2)) for 48 h. Genome-wide transcript and exon expression levels were assessed using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Exon 1.0 ST Array. We found altered expression of 294 genes after hypoxia treatment. Upregulated genes are highly enriched in glucose metabolism and angiogenesis related processes, whereas downregulated genes are mainly connected to cell cycle and DNA repair. Thus, gene expression patterns recapitulate known adaptations to low oxygen supply. Alternative splicing events, until now not related to hypoxia, are shown for nine genes: six which are implicated in angiogenesis-mediated cytoskeleton remodeling (cask, itsn1, larp6, sptan1, tpm1 and robo1); one, which is involved in the synthesis of membrane-anchors (pign) and two universal regulators of gene expression (cugbp1 and max). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: For the first time, this study investigates changes in splicing in the physiological response to hypoxia on a genome-wide scale. Nine alternative splicing events, until now not related to hypoxia, are reported, considerably expanding the information on splicing changes due to low oxygen supply. Therefore, this study provides further knowledge on hypoxia induced gene expression changes and presents new starting points to study the hypoxia adaptation of endothelial cells.
- Noncoder: a web interface for exon array-based detection of long non-coding RNAs (2012)
- Due to recent technical developments, a high number of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been discovered in mammals. Although it has been shown that lncRNAs are regulated differently among tissues and disease statuses, functions of these transcripts are still unknown in most cases. GeneChip Exon 1.0 ST Arrays (exon arrays) from Affymetrix, Inc. have been used widely to profile genome-wide expression changes and alternative splicing of protein-coding genes. Here, we demonstrate that re-annotation of exon array probes can be used to profile expressions of tens of thousands of lncRNAs. With this annotation, a detailed inspection of lncRNAs and their isoforms is possible. To allow for a general usage to the research community, we developed a user-friendly web interface called 'noncoder'. By uploading CEL files from exon arrays and with a few mouse clicks and parameter settings, exon array data will be normalized and analysed to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs. Noncoder provides the detailed annotation information of lncRNAs and is equipped with unique features to allow for an efficient search for interesting lncRNAs to be studied further. The web interface is available at http://noncoder.mpi-bn.mpg.de.