Exploring the molecular pathogenesis and biomarkers of high risk oral premalignant lesions on the basis of long noncoding RNA expression profiling by serial analysis of gene expression

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Abstract

Oral premalignant lesions (OPLs) have malignant transformation potential, with no reliable markers available. This study aimed to assess molecular events to identify biomarkers that can reflect high-risk lesions as predictive factors to tailor clinical decision for patients on the basis of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) expression profiling by serial analysis of gene expression. The GSE31021 and GSE8127 datasets were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and lncRNAs were identified using the LIMMA package in R language. The genes targeted by lncRNAs were predicted among screened DEGs using Pearson’s correlation. Gene ontology function and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses were carried out for genes targeted by lncRNAs using the Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery online tool. A total of 674 DEGs and differentially expressed lncRNAs were screened. Thirty-two interactions of 10 lncRNAs and 524 target genes were predicted. The lncRNA NEAT1 was among the top 10 lncRNAs. The coregulated target genes RP4-684O24, RP11-283I3, and RP11-350G8 were significantly enriched in the immune response and mannosyl-oligosaccharide mannosidase activity. The target genes coregulated by LINC00665 and MIR378D2 were significantly enriched in the ubiquitin-dependent protein catabolic process, ubiquitin-protein ligase activity, and neurotrophin signaling. The lncRNA NEAT1 may play an important role in high-risk lesions. The novel lncRNAs and DEGs identified in OPLs may mediate the immune response and neurotrophin signaling and show ubiquitin ligase activity. These results improve our understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of OPLs and identify some potential targets for early diagnosis of high risk OPLs.

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