Integration of Gene Expression Profile Data to Screen and Verify Hub Genes Involved in Osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common diseases worldwide, but the pathogenic genes and pathways are largely unclear. The aim of this study was to screen and verify hub genes involved in OA and explore potential molecular mechanisms. The expression profiles of GSE12021 and GSE55235 were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, which contained 39 samples, including 20 osteoarthritis synovial membranes and 19 matched normal synovial membranes. The raw data were integrated to obtain differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and were deeply analyzed by bioinformatics methods. The Gene Ontology (GO) and pathway enrichment of DEGs were performed by DAVID and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) online analyses, respectively. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of the DEGs were constructed based on data from the STRING database. The top 10 hub genes VEGFA, IL6, JUN, IL1β, MYC, IL4, PTGS2, ATF3, EGR1, and DUSP1 were identified from the PPI network. Module analysis revealed that OA was associated with significant pathways including TNF signaling pathway, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, and osteoclast differentiation. The qRT-PCR result showed that the expression level of IL6, VEGFA, JUN, IL-1β, and ATF3 was significantly increased in OA samples (p < 0.05), and these candidate genes could be used as potential diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets of OA.




Li, Z., Wang, Q., Chen, G., Li, X., Yang, Q., Du, Z., … Zhang, G. (2018). Integration of Gene Expression Profile Data to Screen and Verify Hub Genes Involved in Osteoarthritis. BioMed Research International, 2018.

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