The Clustering of Regression Models Method with Applications in Gene Expression Data



Summary Identification of differentially expressed genes and clustering of genes are two important and complementary objectives addressed with gene expression data. For the differential expression question, many “per-gene” analytic methods have been proposed. These methods can generally be characterized as using a regression function to independently model the observations for each gene; various adjustments for multiplicity are then used to interpret the statistical significance of these per-gene regression models over the collection of genes analyzed. Motivated by this common structure of per-gene models, we proposed a new model-based clustering method—the clustering of regression models method, which groups genes that share a similar relationship to the covariate(s). This method provides a unified approach for a family of clustering procedures and can be applied for data collected with various experimental designs. In addition, when combined with per-gene methods for assessing differential expression that employ the same regression modeling structure, an integrated framework for the analysis of microarray data is obtained. The proposed methodology was applied to two microarray data sets, one from a breast cancer study and the other from a yeast cell cycle study.