ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0030.v1
Online: 4 July 2022 (04:39:27 CEST)
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a rare disease and one of the most abundant causes for intellectual disa-bilities in females. Single mutations in the gene coding for methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2), are responsible for the disease. MeCP2 regulates gene expression as a transcriptional regulator as well as through epigenetic imprinting and chromatin condensation. Consequently, numerous biological pathways on multiple levels are influenced however, the exact molecular pathways from genotype to phenotype are currently not fully elucidated. Treatment of RTT is purely symptomatic where no curative options for RTT have yet to reach the clinic. The paucity of this is mainly due to an incomplete understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of the dis-order with no clinically useful common disease drivers, biomarkers or therapeutic targets being identified. With the premise of identifying universal and robust disease drivers and therapeutic targets, here we interrogated a range of RTT transcriptomic studies spanning different species, models and MECP2 mutations. A meta-analysis using RNA sequencing data from brains of RTT mouse models human post-mortem brain tissue and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) neurons was performed using Weighted Gene Correlation Network Analysis (WGC-NA). This study identified a module of genes common to all datasets with the following ten hub genes driving the expression ATRX, ADCY7, ADCY9, SOD1, CACNA1A, PLCG1, CCT5, RPS9, BDNF and MECP2. Here we discuss the potential benefits of these genes as therapeutic targets.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0295.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: WGCNA; lung development; histological structure; molecular changes; amphibian
Online: 20 January 2022 (10:16:10 CET)
Metamorphosis is a critical process for most anurans to transition from water to land. The appearance of air-breathing lungs occurs during the change in oxygen medium from water to air. Revealing the structural construction and molecular switches of lung organogenesis is essential to understand the realization of air-breathing function. In this study, histology and transcriptomics were combinedly conducted to explore these issues in Microhyla fissipes lungs during metamorphosis. During the pro-metamorphic phase, histological structure improving of the alveolar wall was accompanied by robust substrate metabolism and protein turnover. The lungs, at the metamorphic climax phase, are characterized by an increased number of cilia in the alveolar epithelial cells and collagenous fibers in the connective tissues, corresponding to the transcriptional upregulation of cilia and extracellular matrix-related genes. The post-metamorphic lungs strengthen the contracting function, as suggested by the thickened muscle layer and the upregulated expression of genes involved in muscle contraction. The blood–gas barrier is fully developed in adult lungs whose transcriptional features are tissue growth and differentiation regulation and immunity. Importantly, significant transcriptional switches of pulmonary surfactant protein and hemoglobin facilitate air-breathing. Our results illuminated four key steps of lung development for amphibians to transition from water to land.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: lncRNA; melanoma; prognosis; immune checkpoint inhibit; WGCNA; NMF
Online: 11 July 2020 (04:35:06 CEST)
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have been widely used in melanoma, but to identify melanoma patients with survival benefit from ICI is still a big challenge. There is an urgent need for prognostic signatures improving the prediction of immunotherapy responses of cancer patients. We used data from EMBL-EBI database and analyzed RNA-seq information and clinical profiles in melanoma. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was used to identify the key module, then nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) was conducted to cluster patients into two different cluster and compared them regarding overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Subsequently, the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between different clusters were identified, and their function and pathway annotation were performed. 91 melanoma biopsies with complete survival information were included in our analyses and we first identified the key module (magenta) by WGCNA, then identified nine prognostic lncRNAs (ENSG00000258869, ENSG00000179840, ENSG00000206344, ENSG00000226777, ENSG00000205018, ENSG00000204261, ENSG00000163597, ENSG00000197536, and ENSG00000263069) signature that predicted for OS and PFS in patients treated with ICI by NMF. Finally, enrichment analysis showed that the functions of DEGs between two consensus clusters were mainly related to the immune process and treatment. In summary, the nine lncRNAs signature is a novel effective predictor for OS and PFS in melanoma patients treated with ICI.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0321.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli; Shigella flexneri; Caco-2 cells; icsB; autophagy; WGCNA; gene co-expression network
Online: 25 February 2022 (03:16:26 CET)
Escherichia coli and Shigella are common diarrhea-causing pathogens in children and adults. Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) shares a similar pathogenic mechanism with Shigella. However, EIEC are less virulent than Shigella. The aim of this work was to get a better understanding of the virulence differences between EIEC and S. flexneri. We investigated i) the bacterial gene co-expression networks (GCNs) and ii) the the transcriptional modules (WGCNA) of Caco-2 cells infected with EIEC or with S. flexneri during a three-hour period of bacterial infection. The GCN analysis showed that EIEC and S. flexneri networks presented different topologies. Additionally, the EIEC network revealed that pINV genes are not connected with chromosomal genes. WGCNA and eigengene analysis showed enterocyte gene expression variation along the three-hour bacterial post-infection period. Additionally, at one-hour post-infection EIEC induced a higher number of gene expression changes in Caco-2 cells than S. flexneri. Several of these genes are involved in autophagy. This study showed that the lower virulence of EIEC is associated with a lack of functional cooperation between pINV and chromosomal genes, differently from what was observed in S. flexneri. Consequently, EIEC becomes less efficient in subverting host-cell bacterial recognition as well as defense mechanisms such as autophagy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0077.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: centromere protein F (CENPF); Estrogen Receptor beta; Lung Adenocarcinoma (LUAD); WGCNA package; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
Online: 5 May 2020 (12:08:59 CEST)
The signal transduction pathways of estrogen receptors (ER) mainly includes gene pathway and non-gene pathway. Studies have shown that the gene pathway of ER is related with the expression of nuclear proteins, and this is the key issue for our current research. With the GEO database analysis, Human centromere protein F (CENPF) is highly expressed in adenocarcinoma of lung (LUAD), and the co-expression of CENPF and ERβ was found in the nucleus of LUAD cells. Meanwhile, CENPF and ERβ2/5 were related with T stage and poor prognosis (P<0.05). Knockdown of CENPF gene significantly inhibited the biological effects of LUAD cells, the tumor growth of mice and the expression of ERβ2/5 (P<0.05). Further, group experiments showed that knockdown CENPF inhibits biological effects of LUAD cells mediated by ERβ pathway. All the results indicated that both CENPF and ERβ2/5 play important roles in the progression of LUAD, and knockdown of CENPF can inhibit the progression of LUAD by inhibiting the expression of ER2/5. Thus, the development of inhibitors against ERβ2/5 subtype and CENPF remained more effective in improving the therapeutic effect of LUAD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0181.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; disease severity; blood leukocyte transcriptome; WGCNA; transcriptional modules; differentially expressed genes; COVID-19 transcriptional markers
Online: 9 August 2022 (14:59:44 CEST)
The transcriptional response of human blood leukocytes to SARS-CoV-2 infection was investigated focusing on the differences between mild and severe cases and between age subgroups. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis and comparative gene expression analysis were used. Three transcriptional modules positively associated with the traits of interest and their respective high hierarchy genes were identified. Enrichment analyses showed that the yellow module, associated with severe cases and older patients, had an overrepresentation of genes involved in inflammatory and innate immune responses, and neutrophil activation. The magenta and black modules, associated with disease severity and younger patients, contained genes related to innate immunity and inflammation and genes that regulate those responses. Subnetworks for these modules were constructed using genes enriched for innate immunity, inflammation, immunoregulation and differentially expressed genes (severe vs. mild). Their analysis evidenced that immunoregulatory functions are more activated in the modules associated with younger patients, what may help to explain the better disease course and faster recovery observed in younger COVID-19 patients. Comparative gene expression analysis between severe and mild groups, followed by gene enrichment and normalized gene expression analyses, revelated a set of 23 potential biomarkers for COVID-19 severity, of which 13 are newly described.