Transcriptomics resources of human tissues and organs

Mol Syst Biol. 2016 Apr 4;12(4):862. doi: 10.15252/msb.20155865.


Quantifying the differential expression of genes in various human organs, tissues, and cell types is vital to understand human physiology and disease. Recently, several large-scale transcriptomics studies have analyzed the expression of protein-coding genes across tissues. These datasets provide a framework for defining the molecular constituents of the human body as well as for generating comprehensive lists of proteins expressed across tissues or in a tissue-restricted manner. Here, we review publicly available human transcriptome resources and discuss body-wide data from independent genome-wide transcriptome analyses of different tissues. Gene expression measurements from these independent datasets, generated using samples from fresh frozen surgical specimens and postmortem tissues, are consistent. Overall, the different genome-wide analyses support a distribution in which many proteins are found in all tissues and relatively few in a tissue-restricted manner. Moreover, we discuss the applications of publicly available omics data for building genome-scale metabolic models, used for analyzing cell and tissue functions both in physiological and in disease contexts.

Keywords: genome‐scale metabolic models; proteomics; transcriptomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Organ Specificity
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*