Role of innate immunity-triggered pathways in the pathogenesis of Sickle Cell Disease: a meta-analysis of gene expression studies.
ABSTRACT: Despite the detailed characterization of the inflammatory and endothelial changes observed in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), the hierarchical relationship between elements involved in the pathogenesis of this complex disease is yet to be described. Meta-analyses of gene expression studies from public repositories represent a novel strategy, capable to identify key mediators in complex diseases. We performed several meta-analyses of gene expression studies involving SCD, including studies with patient samples, as well as in-vitro models of the disease. Meta-analyses were performed with the Inmex bioinformatics tool, based on the RankProd package, using raw gene expression data. Functional gene set analysis was performed using more than 60 gene-set libraries. Our results demonstrate that the well-characterized association between innate immunity, hemostasis, angiogenesis and heme metabolism with SCD is also consistently observed at the transcriptomic level, across independent studies. The enrichment of genes and pathways associated with innate immunity and damage repair-associated pathways supports the model of erythroid danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) as key mediators of the pathogenesis of SCD. Our study also generated a novel database of candidate genes, pathways and transcription factors not previously associated with the pathogenesis of SCD that warrant further investigation in models and patients of SCD.
Project description:A chronic inflammatory state to a large extent explains sickle cell disease (SCD) pathophysiology. Nonetheless, the principal dysregulated factors affecting this major pathway and their mechanisms of action still have to be fully identified and elucidated. Integrating gene expression and genome-wide association study (GWAS) data analysis represents a novel approach to refining the identification of key mediators and functions in complex diseases. Here, we performed gene expression meta-analysis of five independent publicly available microarray datasets related to homozygous SS patients with SCD to identify a consensus SCD transcriptomic profile. The meta-analysis conducted using the MetaDE R package based on combining p values (maxP approach) identified 335 differentially expressed genes (DEGs; 224 upregulated and 111 downregulated). Functional gene set enrichment revealed the importance of several metabolic pathways, of innate immune responses, erythrocyte development, and hemostasis pathways. Advanced analyses of GWAS data generated within the framework of this study by means of the atSNP R package and SIFT tool identified 60 regulatory single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rSNPs) occurring in the promoter of 20 DEGs and a deleterious SNP, affecting CAMKK2 protein function. This novel database of candidate genes, transcription factors, and rSNPs associated with SCD provides new markers that may help to identify new therapeutic targets.
Project description:The aim of the present study was to identify differentially expressed (DE) genes in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), and biological processes associated with changes in gene expression that occur in this disease. Using the INMEX (integrative meta?analysis of expression data) software tool, a meta?analysis of publicly available microarray Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets of OA was performed. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis was performed in order to detect enriched functional attributes based on gene?associated GO terms. Three GEO datasets, containing 137 patients with OA and 52 healthy controls, were included in the meta?analysis. The analysis identified 85 genes that were consistently differentially expressed in OA (30 genes were upregulated and 55 genes were downregulated). The upregulated gene with the lowest P?value (P=5.36E?07) was S?phase kinase?associated protein 2, E3 ubiquitin protein ligase (SKP2). The downregulated gene with the lowest P?value (P=4.42E?09) was Proline rich 5 like (PRR5L). Among the 210 GO terms that were associated with the set of DE genes, the most significant two enrichments were observed in the GO categories of 'Immune response', with a P?value of 0.000129438, and 'Immune effectors process', with a P?value of 0.000288619. The current meta?analysis identified genes that were consistently DE in OA, in addition to biological pathways associated with changes in gene expression that occur during OA, which may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of this disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A small proportion of HIV-infected patients remain clinically and/or immunologically stable for years, including elite controllers (ECs) who have undetectable viremia (<50 copies/ml) and long-term nonprogressors (LTNPs) who maintain normal CD4+ T cell counts for prolonged periods (>10 years). However, the mechanism of nonprogression needs to be further resolved. In this study, a transcriptome meta-analysis was performed on nonprogressor and progressor microarray data to identify differential transcriptome pathways and potential biomarkers. METHODS:Using the INMEX (integrative meta-analysis of expression data) program, we performed the meta-analysis to identify consistently differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in nonprogressors and further performed functional interpretation (gene ontology analysis and pathway analysis) of the DEGs identified in the meta-analysis. Five microarray datasets (81 cases and 98 controls in total), including whole blood, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, were collected for meta-analysis. RESULTS:We determined that nonprogressors have reduced expression of important interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), CD38, lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG-3) in whole blood, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Gene ontology (GO) analysis showed a significant enrichment in DEGs that function in the type I interferon signaling pathway. Upregulated pathways, including the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in whole blood, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction in CD4+ T cells and the MAPK signaling pathway in CD8+ T cells, were identified in nonprogressors compared with progressors. In each metabolic functional category, the number of downregulated DEGs was more than the upregulated DEGs, and almost all genes were downregulated DEGs in the oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in the three types of samples. CONCLUSIONS:Our transcriptomic meta-analysis provides a comprehensive evaluation of the gene expression profiles in major blood types of nonprogressors, providing new insights in the understanding of HIV pathogenesis and developing strategies to delay HIV disease progression.
Project description:Endometriosis affects 6?10% of women of reproductive age. Though a significant amount of research has explored the pathogenesis of endometriosis, little is clear. Elucidating the mechanisms is urgently required for improving the therapeutic efficiency of endometriosis treatment. Long non?coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have recently acquired extensive attention as regulatory components in a variety of biological processes and diseases. However, the functions of many lncRNAs in endometriosis are poorly understood. Therefore, the exploration of the dysregulated genes in endometriosis, particularly lncRNAs, is of importance. In the present study, datasets for endometriosis, including GSE7305, GSE7846, GSE29981 and E?MTAB?694, were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus and ArrayExpress. Then, the limma and Affy packages were used to analyze the CEL file. The RankProd method was used to conduct meta?analysis. Long intergenic non?protein coding RNA 1279 (LINC01279) was significantly upregulated in the three datasets, and was the most upregulated lncRNA as determined by the RankProd method. Gene set enrichment and Gene Ontology analyses were conducted, which revealed that LINC01279 is likely to function as a cell cycle mediator in endometriosis. Finally, it was identified that LINC01279 is strongly associated with certain previously identified key factors in the development of endometriosis, including cyclin?dependent kinase 14 and C?X?C motif chemokine ligand 12. Thus, it was demonstrated that LINC01279 may be associated with the pathogenesis of endometriosis. This may potentially represent a target in the therapy of endometriosis.
Project description:Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in sickle cell disease (SCD), but preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic options are limited. Further, ACS and acute vasoccclusive pain crises (VOC) have overlapping features, which causes diagnostic dilemmas. We explored changes in gene expression profiles among patients with SCD hospitalized for VOC and ACS episodes to better understand ACS disease pathogenesis. Whole blood RNA-Seq was performed for 20 samples from children with SCD at baseline and during a hospitalization for either an ACS (n?=?10) or a VOC episode (n?=?10). Respiratory viruses were identified from nasopharyngeal swabs. Functional gene analyses were performed using modular repertoires, IPA, Gene Ontology, and NetworkAnalyst 3.0. The VOC group had a numerically higher percentage of female, older, and hemoglobin SS participants compared to the ACS group. Viruses were detected in 50% of ACS cases and 20% of VOC cases. We identified 3004 transcripts that were differentially expressed during ACS episodes, and 1802 transcripts during VOC episodes. Top canonical pathways during ACS episodes were related to interferon signaling, neuro-inflammation, pattern recognition receptors, and macrophages. Top canonical pathways in patients with VOC included IL-10 signaling, iNOS signaling, IL-6 signaling, and B cell signaling. Several genes related to antimicrobial function were down-regulated during ACS compared to VOC. Gene enrichment nodal interactions demonstrated significantly altered pathways during ACS and VOC. A complex network of changes in innate and adaptive immune gene expression were identified during both ACS and VOC episodes. These results provide unique insights into changes during acute events in children with SCD.
Project description:The goal of this study was to identify potential transcriptomic markers in developing ankylosing spondylitis by a meta-analysis of multiple public microarray datasets. Using the INMEX (integrative meta-analysis of expression data) program, we performed the meta-analysis to identify consistently differentially expressed (DE) genes in ankylosing spondylitis and further performed functional interpretation (gene ontology analysis and pathway analysis) of the DE genes identified in the meta-analysis. Three microarray datasets (26 cases and 29 controls in total) were collected for meta-analysis. 905 consistently DE genes were identified in ankylosing spondylitis, among which 482 genes were upregulated and 423 genes were downregulated. The upregulated gene with the smallest combined rank product (RP) was GNG11 (combined RP=299.64). The downregulated gene with the smallest combined RP was S100P (combined RP=335.94). In the gene ontology (GO) analysis, the most significantly enriched GO term was "immune system process" (P=3.46×10(-26)). The most significant pathway identified in the pathway analysis was antigen processing and presentation (P=8.40×10(-5)). The consistently DE genes in ankylosing spondylitis and biological pathways associated with those DE genes identified provide valuable information for studying the pathophysiology of ankylosing spondylitis.
Project description:Sudden cardiac death (SCD), a sudden pulseless condition due to cardiac arrhythmia, remains a major public health problem despite recent progress in the treatment and prevention of overall coronary heart disease. In this review, we examine the evidence for genetic susceptibility to SCD in order to provide biological insight into the pathogenesis of this devastating disease and to explore the potential for genetics to impact clinical management of SCD risk. Both candidate gene approaches and unbiased genome-wide scans have identified novel biological pathways contributing to SCD risk. Although risk stratification in the general population remains an elusive goal, several studies point to the potential utility of these common genetic variants in high-risk individuals. Finally, we highlight novel methodological approaches to deciphering the molecular mechanisms involved in arrhythmogenesis. Although further epidemiological and clinical applications research is needed, it is increasingly clear that genetic approaches are yielding important insights into SCD that may impact the public health burden imposed by SCD and its associated outcomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in older adults that damages the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour. The identification of differentially expressed genes and related pathways among affected brain regions can provide more information on the mechanisms of AD. In the past decade, several studies have reported many genes that are associated with AD. This wealth of information has become difficult to follow and interpret as most of the results are conflicting. In that case, it is worth doing an integrated study of multiple datasets that helps to increase the total number of samples and the statistical power in detecting biomarkers. In this study, we present an integrated analysis of five different brain region datasets and introduce new genes that warrant further investigation. METHODS:The aim of our study is to apply a novel combinatorial optimisation based meta-analysis approach to identify differentially expressed genes that are associated to AD across brain regions. In this study, microarray gene expression data from 161 samples (74 non-demented controls, 87 AD) from the Entorhinal Cortex (EC), Hippocampus (HIP), Middle temporal gyrus (MTG), Posterior cingulate cortex (PC), Superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and visual cortex (VCX) brain regions were integrated and analysed using our method. The results are then compared to two popular meta-analysis methods, RankProd and GeneMeta, and to what can be obtained by analysing the individual datasets. RESULTS:We find genes related with AD that are consistent with existing studies, and new candidate genes not previously related with AD. Our study confirms the up-regualtion of INFAR2 and PTMA along with the down regulation of GPHN, RAB2A, PSMD14 and FGF. Novel genes PSMB2, WNK1, RPL15, SEMA4C, RWDD2A and LARGE are found to be differentially expressed across all brain regions. Further investigation on these genes may provide new insights into the development of AD. In addition, we identified the presence of 23 non-coding features, including four miRNA precursors (miR-7, miR570, miR-1229 and miR-6821), dysregulated across the brain regions. Furthermore, we compared our results with two popular meta-analysis methods RankProd and GeneMeta to validate our findings and performed a sensitivity analysis by removing one dataset at a time to assess the robustness of our results. These new findings may provide new insights into the disease mechanisms and thus make a significant contribution in the near future towards understanding, prevention and cure of AD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In the absence of antiretroviral treatments (ARTs), a small group of individuals infected with HIV, including long-term non-progressors (LTNPs) who maintain high levels of CD4+ T cells for more than 7-10?years in the absence of ART and in particular a subgroup of LTNPs, elite controllers (ECs), who have low levels of viremia, remain clinically and/or immunologically stable for years. However, the mechanism of stable disease progression in LTNPs and ECs needs to be elucidated to help those infected with HIV-1 remain healthy. In this study, to identify the characteristics of gene expression profiles and biomarkers in LTNPs, we performed a meta-analysis using multiple gene expression profiles among LTNPs, individuals infected with HIV-1 without ART, individuals infected with HIV-1 with ART, and healthy controls. METHODS:The gene expression profiles obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) microarray data repositories were classified into three groups: LTNPs versus healthy controls (first group, 3 studies), LTNPs versus patients infected with HIV-1 without ART (second group, 3 studies), and LTNPs versus patients infected with HIV-1 with ART (third group, 3 studies). In addition, we considered a fourth group, patients infected with HIV-1 without ART versus healthy controls (3 studies), to exclude genes associated with HIV-1 infection in the three groups. For each group, we performed a meta-analysis using the RankProd method to identify and compare the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the three groups. RESULTS:We identified the 14 common DEGs in the three groups when comparing them with each other. Most belonged to immune responses, antigen processing and presentation, the interferon-gamma-mediated signaling pathway, and T cell co-stimulation. Of these DEGs, PHLDA1 was up-regulated and ACTB and ACTG1 were down-regulated in all three groups. However, the rest of the up- or down-regulated genes were discordant in the three groups. Additionally, ACTB and ACTG1 are known to inhibit viral assembly and production, and THBS1 is known to inhibit HIV-1 infection. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that significant genes identified in a meta-analysis provide clues to the cause of delayed disease progression and give a deeper understanding of HIV pathogenesis in LTNPs.
Project description:Despite moderate heritability estimates, progress in uncovering the molecular substrate underpinning major depressive disorder (MDD) has been slow. In this study, we used prefrontal cortex (PFC) gene expression from a genetic rat model of MDD to inform probe set prioritization in PFC in a human post-mortem study to uncover genes and gene pathways associated with MDD. Gene expression differences between Flinders sensitive (FSL) and Flinders resistant (FRL) rat lines were statistically evaluated using the RankProd, non-parametric algorithm. Top ranking probe sets in the rat study were subsequently used to prioritize orthologous selection in a human PFC in a case-control post-mortem study on MDD from the Stanley Brain Consortium. Candidate genes in the human post-mortem study were then tested against a matched control sample using the RankProd method. A total of 1767 probe sets were differentially expressed in the PFC between FSL and FRL rat lines at (q?0.001). A total of 898 orthologous probe sets was found on Affymetrix's HG-U95A chip used in the human study. Correcting for the number of multiple, non-independent tests, 20 probe sets were found to be significantly dysregulated between human cases and controls at q?0.05. These probe sets tagged the expression profile of 18 human genes (11 upregulated and seven downregulated). Using an integrative rat-human study, a number of convergent genes that may have a role in pathogenesis of MDD were uncovered. Eighty percent of these genes were functionally associated with a key stress response signalling cascade, involving NF-?B (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells), AP-1 (activator protein 1) and ERK/MAPK, which has been systematically associated with MDD, neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.