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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 140819, 10 pages
Research Article

MIrExpress: A Database for Gene Coexpression Correlation in Immune Cells Based on Mutual Information and Pearson Correlation

1School of Information, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2Department of Natural Science in Medicine, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China
3Center for Computational Biology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China

Received 29 May 2015; Accepted 9 November 2015

Academic Editor: Francesco Pappalardo

Copyright © 2015 Luman Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Most current gene coexpression databases support the analysis for linear correlation of gene pairs, but not nonlinear correlation of them, which hinders precisely evaluating the gene-gene coexpression strengths. Here, we report a new database, MIrExpress, which takes advantage of the information theory, as well as the Pearson linear correlation method, to measure the linear correlation, nonlinear correlation, and their hybrid of cell-specific gene coexpressions in immune cells. For a given gene pair or probe set pair input by web users, both mutual information (MI) and Pearson correlation coefficient () are calculated, and several corresponding values are reported to reflect their coexpression correlation nature, including MI and values, their respective rank orderings, their rank comparison, and their hybrid correlation value. Furthermore, for a given gene, the top 10 most relevant genes to it are displayed with the MI, , or their hybrid perspective, respectively. Currently, the database totally includes 16 human cell groups, involving 20,283 human genes. The expression data and the calculated correlation results from the database are interactively accessible on the web page and can be implemented for other related applications and researches.