Journal Article

Testing the hypothesis of tissue selectivity: the intersection–union test and a Bayesian approach

K. Van Deun, H. Hoijtink, L. Thorrez, L. Van Lommel, F. Schuit and I. Van Mechelen

in Bioinformatics

Volume 25, issue 19, pages 2588-2594
Published in print October 2009 | ISSN: 1367-4803
Published online August 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2059 | DOI:

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology


Show Summary Details


Motivation: Finding genes that are preferentially expressed in a particular tissue or condition is a problem that cannot be solved by standard statistical testing procedures. A relatively unknown procedure that can be used is the intersection–union test (IUT). However, two disadvantages of the IUT are that it is conservative and it conveys only the information of the least differing target tissue–other tissue pair.

Results: We propose a Bayesian procedure that quantifies how much evidence there is in the overall expression profile for selective over-expression. In a small simulation study, it is shown that the proposed method outperforms the IUT when it comes to finding selectively expressed genes. An application to publicly available data consisting of 22 tissues shows that the Bayesian method indeed selects genes with functions that reflect the specific tissue functions. The proposed method can also be used to find genes that are underexpressed in a particular tissue.

Availability: Both MATLAB and R code that implement the IUT and the Bayesian procedure in an efficient way, can be downloaded at


Journal Article.  5040 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.