In order to explore the etiology of gastric cancer on global gene expression level, we developed advanced bioinformatic analysis to investigate the variations of global gene expression and the interactions among them.Main methods
We downloaded the dataset GSE63288 from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database which included 22 human gastric cancer and 22 healthy control samples. We identified the differential expression genes, and explored the Gene ontology (GO) and pathways of the differentially expressed genes. Furthermore, integrative interaction network and co-expression network were employed to identify the key genes which may contribute to gastric cancer progression.Key findings
The results indicated that 5 kinases including BUB1, TTK protein kinase, Citron Rho-interacting kinase (CIT), ZAK and NEK2 were upregulated in gastric cancer. Interestingly, BUB1, TTK, CIT and NEK2 have shown high expression similarities and bound with each other, and participated in multiple phases of mitosis. Moreover, a subnet of co-expression genes e.g. KIF14, PRC1, CENPF and CENPI was also involved in mitosis which was functionally coupled with the kinases above. By validation assays, the results indicated that CIT, PRC1, TTK and KIF14 were significantly upregulated in gastric cancer.Significance
These evidences have suggested that aberrant expression of these genes may drive gastric cancer including progression, invasion and metastasis. Although the causal relationships between gastric cancer and the genes are still lacking, it was reasonable to take them as biomarkers for diagnosis of gastric cancer.