Gene Expression

The microarray data available for the NCI60 offers a rich source of information for examining gene expressions in conjunction with existing knowledge of chemotypes and cytotoxicity. This data is available for a number of different experimental platforms. Constitutive gene expression within the NCI60 reflects immortalized cell growth under specific environmental conditions. The common approach is to identify the strongest correlations between constitutive differential gene expression profiles and cytotoxicity measures across the NCI60.

While gene expression profiles lend themselves to many interpretations, we have adopted the simple working premise that differential expression reflects cellular maintenance and growth, albeit through complex processes. Thus, all cellular processes necessary for survival ultimately derive some dependency on gene expression, or the transcriptional control of gene expression. This premise can be naturally extended to include the view that gene expression also contributes to a cytotoxic response. Albeit an overly simplified premise for this complicated system, this perspective provides a reference point for evaluating whether constitutive gene expressions are different from "average," and hence are an indication of some dependency on survival or cell death in response to drug exposure.

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