Characterizing and evaluating cell specialization through Gini index of gene expression: TCGA normal vs tumor case study

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Characterizing and evaluating cell specialization through Gini index of gene expression: TCGA normal vs tumor case study

Authors

Cumbo, F.; Santoni, D.

Abstract

In this work we introduce the Gini Index, commonly used as a measure of statistical dispersion to evaluate the income inequality within a nation, as an effective and reliable measure of cell specialization. In particular we use it to evaluate and compare the specialization level of normal and tumor cells according to their gene expressions. Obtained results reveal how Gini Index is able to capture information associated with cell specialization, and show that tumor cells, on average, tend to lose their specialization or in other words their capacity to be the cells they were committed to be, due to cancer.

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