Mol. Syst. Biol. 12 (4) 862 [2016-04-04; online 2016-04-04]
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.