It has been increasingly recognized that incorporating prior knowledge into cluster analysis can result in more reliable and meaningful clusters. In contrast to the standard model-clustering with a global mixture model, which does not use any prior information, a stratified mixture model was recently proposed to incorporate gene functions or biological pathways as priors in model-based clustering of gene expression profiles: various gene functional groups form the strata in a stratified mixture model. Albeit useful, the stratified method may be less efficient than the global analysis if the strata are non-informative to clustering. We propose a weighted method that aims to strike a balance between a stratified analysis and a global analysis: it weights between the clustering results of the stratified analysis and that of the global analysis; the weight is determined by data. More generally, the weighted method can take advantage of the hierarchical structure of most existing gene functional annotation systems, such as MIPS and Gene Ontology (GO), and facilitate choosing appropriate gene functional groups as priors. We use simulated data and real data to demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of the proposed method.