Quality Control Usage in High-Density Microarrays Reveals Differential Gene Expression Profiles in Ovarian Cancer


Experimental Oncology Laboratory, Research Department, National Institute of Pediatrics, Mexico D.F., Mexico


There are several existing reports of microarray chip use for assessment of altered gene expression in different diseases. In fact, there have been over 1.5 million assays of this kind performed over the last twenty years, which have influenced clinical and translational research studies. The most commonly used DNA microarray platforms are Affymetrix GeneChip and Quality Control Software along with their GeneChip Probe Arrays. These chips are created using several quality controls to confirm the success of each assay, but their actual impact on gene expression profiles had not been previously analyzed until the appearance of several bioinformatics tools for this purpose. We here performed a data mining analysis, in this case specifically focused on ovarian cancer, as well as healthy ovarian tissue and ovarian cell lines, in order to confirm quality control results and associated variation in gene expression profiles. The microarray data used in our research were downloaded from ArrayExpress and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and analyzed with Expression Console Software using RMA, MAS5 and Plier algorithms. The gene expression profiles were obtained using Partek Genomics Suite v6.6 and data were visualized using principal component analysis, heat map, and Venn diagrams. Microarray quality control analysis showed that roughly 40% of the microarray files were false negative, demonstrating over- and under-estimation of expressed genes. Additionally, we confirmed the results performing second analysis using independent samples. About 70% of the significant expressed genes were correlated in both analyses. These results demonstrate the importance of appropriate microarray processing to obtain a reliable gene expression profile.