Ziv Bar-Joseph and colleague describe their new method Dynamic Regulatory Events Miner (DREM) to analyze time-series gene expression data and combine them with static ChIP-chip experiments. The expression profiles are modeled using an extension of Hidden Markov Model that enforces a tree structure onto the expression profiles. The technique allows to deduce the condition-specific or time-dependent activity of transcription factors that explain the observed expression profiles.
In their analysis of developmental time-series of gene expression in Drosophila, Peer Bork and colleagues apply a more drastic principle to identify robust groups of genes that correlate with major development phases. They required “four points of low expression and four subsequent points of high expression (or vice versa) even if the amplitude change was relatively low (see Materials and methods). This type of convolution not only requires a sharp increase or decrease of expression, but also that the change in transcript level is consistent over a period of time, thereby reducing the rate of false positives owing to individual outliers.”