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Sci Rep


Implementation of multi-gene biomarker panels identified from high throughput data, including microarray or next generation sequencing, need to be adapted to a platform suitable in a clinical setting such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction. However, technical challenges when transitioning from one measurement platform to another, such as inconsistent measurement results can affect panel development. We describe a process to overcome the challenges by replacing poor performing genes during platform transition and reducing the number of features without impacting classification performance. This approach assumes that a diagnostic panel reflects the effect of dysregulated biological processes associated with a disease, and genes involved in the same biological processes and coordinately affected by a disease share a similar discriminatory power. The utility of this optimization process was assessed using a published sepsis diagnostic panel. Substitution of more than half of the genes and/or reducing genes based on biological processes did not negatively affect the performance of the sepsis diagnostic panel. Our results suggest a systematic gene substitution and reduction process based on biological function can be used to alleviate the challenges associated with clinical development of biomarker panels.


Institute for Systems Biology