This article is part of the supplement: International Workshop on Computational Systems Biology: Approaches to Analysis of Genome Complexity and Regulatory Gene Networks

Open Access Research

Bimodal gene expression patterns in breast cancer

Marina Bessarabova1, Eugene Kirillov1, Weiwei Shi2, Andrej Bugrim2, Yuri Nikolsky2* and Tatiana Nikolskaya1

  • * Corresponding author: Yuri Nikolsky

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Russian Academy of Sciences, Vavilov Institute for General Genetics, ul. Gubkina, 3, Moscow, Russia

2 Genego, Inc., 500 Renaissance Drive, St. Joseph, MI 49085, USA

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11(Suppl 1):S8  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-S1-S8

Published: 10 February 2010


We identified a set of genes with an unexpected bimodal distribution among breast cancer patients in multiple studies. The property of bimodality seems to be common, as these genes were found on multiple microarray platforms and in studies with different end-points and patient cohorts. Bimodal genes tend to cluster into small groups of four to six genes with synchronised expression within the group (but not between the groups), which makes them good candidates for robust conditional descriptors. The groups tend to form concise network modules underlying their function in cancerogenesis of breast neoplasms.