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Open Access Open Badges Correspondence

Inconsistencies over time in 5% of NetAffx probe-to-gene annotations

Carolina Perez-Iratxeta and Miguel A Andrade*

Author Affiliations

Ontario Genomics Innovation Centre, Ottawa Health Research Institute, 501 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada

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BMC Bioinformatics 2005, 6:183  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-6-183

Published: 20 July 2005



DNA microarray probes are designed to match particular mRNA transcripts, often based on expressed sequences like ESTs, or cDNAs, many times incomplete. As a result, the relations between probes and genes can change as the sequence data are updated. However, it is frequent that the reported results of microarray analyses are given just as lists of genes without any reference to the underlying probes.


We show for a particular commercial microarray design that the number of probes associated to some genes change with time. These changes concern approximately 5% of the probe sets across the history of annotation releases over a two year span.


We recommend to report probe set identifiers when publishing microarray results, and to submit those analyses to microarray public databases to ensure that the interpretation of the data is updated with the latest set of annotations.