Pattern Genes Suggest Functional Connectivity of Organs

Yangmei Qin, Jianbo Pan, Meichun Cai, Lixia Yao, Zhiliang Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Human organ, as the basic structural and functional unit in human body, is made of a large community of different cell types that organically bound together. Each organ usually exerts highly specified physiological function; while several related organs work smartly together to perform complicated body functions. In this study, we present a computational effort to understand the roles of genes in building functional connection between organs. More specifically, we mined multiple transcriptome datasets sampled from 36 human organs and tissues, and quantitatively identified 3,149 genes whose expressions showed consensus modularly patterns: specific to one organ/tissue, selectively expressed in several functionally related tissues and ubiquitously expressed. These pattern genes imply intrinsic connections between organs. According to the expression abundance of the 766 selective genes, we consistently cluster the 36 human organs/tissues into seven functional groups: adipose &gland, brain, muscle, immune, metabolism, mucoid and nerve conduction. The organs and tissues in each group either work together to form organ systems or coordinate to perform particular body functions. The particular roles of specific genes and selective genes suggest that they could not only be used to mechanistically explore organ functions, but also be designed for selective biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26501
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - May 26 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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