Identification of potential transcriptomic markers in developing asthma: An integrative analysis of gene expression profiles

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The goal of this study was to identify potential transcriptomic markers in developing asthma by an integrative analysis of multiple public microarray data sets. Using the R software and bioconductor packages, we performed a statistical analysis to identify differentially expressed (DE) genes in asthma, and further performed functional interpretation (enrichment analysis and co-expression network construction) and classification quality evaluation of the DE genes identified. 3 microarray datasets (192 cases and 91 controls in total) were collected for this analysis. 62 DE genes were identified in asthma, among which 43 genes were up-regulated and 19 genes were down-regulated. The up-regulated gene with the highest Log2 Fold Change (LFC) was CLCA1 (LFC = 2.81). The down-regulated gene with the highest absolute LFC was BPIFA1 (LFC = −1.45). Enrichment analysis revealed that those DE genes strongly associated with proteolysis, retina homeostasis, humoral immune response, and salivary secretion. A support vector machine classifier (asthma versus healthy control) was also trained based on DE genes. In conclusion, the consistently DE genes identified in this study are suggested as candidate transcriptomic markers for asthma diagnosis, and provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of asthma.

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