GOstat: Find statistically overrepresented Gene

Tim Beissbarth1, Terry Speed2
1beissbarth@wehi.edu.au, WEHI; 2terry@wehi.adu.au, WEHI

Modern experimental techniques, as for example DNA microarrays, as a result produce usually a long list of genes, which are potentially interesting in the analyzed process. In order to gain biological understanding from this type of data, it is necessary to analyze the functional annotations of all genes in this list. The Gene-Ontology database (GO) provides a useful tool to annotate and analyze the functions of a large number of genes. Here we introduce a tool that utilizes this information to obtain an understanding of which annotations are typical for the analyzed list of genes. This program automatically obtains the GO annotations from a database and generates statistics of which annotations are overrepresented in the analyzed list of genes. This results in a list of GO terms sorted by their specificity. Our program GOstat is accessible via the Internet at http://gostat.wehi.edu.au.