How do I use this tool?
GeneFriends is a functional genomics tool aimed at biologists and clinicians. It is based on a gene co-expression map that describes which genes tend to be activated (increase in expression) and deactivated (decrease in expression) simultaneously in a large number of microarray datasets. Because the microarray datasets come from a wide range of conditions, the co-expression map reflects which genes in general tend to be activated simultaneously and are thus under similar transcriptional regulation. This information can be used statistically, using a guilt-by-association approach, to identify and prioritize novel candidate genes involved in biological processes and complex diseases for which a seed list of genes associated with that disease or process is available. It can also be used to gain insights on genes of unknown function by looking at which genes they are co-expressed with. A detailed description of GeneFriends has been published.
We constructed co-expression maps for humans and for various model organisms (mice, rats, flies and yeast). Because more data is available for humans and mice, however, GeneFriends is expected to be more accurate for these two species.
Overall, GeneFriends can be used to:
- Assign putative functions to poorly annotated genes.
- Identify and rank new candidate genes related to a disease or biological process from a seed list of genes.