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Cell cycle dependence of protein subcellular location inferred from static, asynchronous images.
Protein subcellular location is one of the most important determinants of protein function during cellular processes. Changes in protein behavior during the cell cycle are expected to be involved in cellular reprogramming during disease and development, and there is therefore a critical need to understand cell-cycle dependent variation in protein localization which may be related to aberrant pathway activity. With this goal, it would be useful to have an automated method that can be applied on a proteomic scale to identify candidate proteins showing cell-cycle dependent variation of location. Fluorescence microscopy, and especially automated, high-throughput microscopy, can provide images for tens of thousands of fluorescently-tagged proteins for this purpose. Previous work on analysis of cell cycle variation has traditionally relied on obtaining time-series images over an entire cell cycle; these methods are not applicable to the single time point images that are much easier to obtain on a large scale. Hence a method that can infer cell cycle-dependence of proteins from asynchronous, static cell images would be preferable. In this work, we demonstrate such a method that can associate protein pattern variation in static images with cell cycle progression. We additionally show that a one-dimensional parameterization of cell cycle progression and protein feature pattern is sufficient to infer association between localization and cell cycle.