BEAT: Bioinformatics Exon Array Tool to store, analyze and visualize Affymetrix Gene Chip Human Exon Array data from disease experiments

It is known from recent studies that more than 90% of human multi-exon genes are subjected to Alternative Splicing (AS), a key molecular mechanism in which multiple transcripts may be generated from a single gene.

It is widely recognized that the breakdown in AS mechanisms plays an important role in cellular differentiation and pathologies.

BEAT is an integrated user-friendly bioinformatics exon array tool to store, analyse and visualize exon arrays datasets. It is based on a data warehouse approach combined with some rigorous statistical methods to assess the different gene expression between normal and pathological tissues.

BEAT allows to upload and analyze exon array datasets using statistical methods and an easy-to-use graphical web front-end. BEAT has been tuned using new datasets of exon array experiments from fourteen colorectal cancer and thirteen renal cell cancer patients produced at Medical Genetics Unit of IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza.

To highlight all possible AS events, alternative names, accession Ids, GO terms and biochemical pathways annotations are integrated with exon and gene level expression plots. The user can customize the results choosing custom thresholds for the statistical parameters and exploiting the available clinical data of the samples for a multivariate AS analysis.