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GOFFA: gene ontology for functional analysis--a FDA gene ontology tool for analysis of genomic and proteomic data.

Sun H, Fang H, Chen T, Perkins R, Tong W
BMC bioinformatics


BACKGROUND: Gene Ontology (GO) characterizes and categorizes the functions of genes and their products according to biological processes, molecular functions and cellular components, facilitating interpretation of data from high-throughput genomics and proteomics technologies. The most effective use of GO information is achieved when its rich and hierarchical complexity is retained and the information is distilled to the biological functions that are most germane to the phenomenon being investigated. RESULTS: Here we present a FDA GO tool named Gene Ontology for Functional Analysis (GOFFA). GOFFA first ranks GO terms in the order of prevalence for a list of selected genes or proteins, and then it allows the user to interactively select GO terms according to their significance and specific biological complexity within the hierarchical structure. GOFFA provides five interactive functions (Tree view, Terms View, Genes View, GO Path and GO TreePrune) to analyze the GO data. Among the five functions, GO Path and GO TreePrune are unique. The GO Path simultaneously displays the ranks that order GOFFA Tree Paths based on statistical analysis. The GO TreePrune provides a visual display of a reduced GO term set based on a user's statistical cut-offs. Therefore, the GOFFA visual display can provide an intuitive depiction of the most likely relevant biological functions. CONCLUSION: With GOFFA, the user can dynamically interact with the GO data to interpret gene expression results in the context of biological plausibility, which can lead to new discoveries or identify new hypotheses. AVAILABILITY: GOFFA is available through ArrayTrack softwarehttp://edkb.fda.gov/webstart/arraytrack/.

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