Gene networks in neurodegenerative disorders

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Three neurodegenerative diseases [Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD)] have many characteristics like pathological mechanisms and genes. In this sense some researchers postulate that these diseases share the same alterations and that one alteration in a specific protein triggers one of these diseases.

Analyses of gene expression may shed more light on how to discover pathways, pathologic mechanisms associated with the disease, biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets.

In this review, we analyze four microarrays related to three neurodegenerative diseases. We will systematically examine seven genes (CHN1, MDH1, PCP4, RTN1, SLC14A1, SNAP25 and VSNL1) that are altered in the three neurodegenerative diseases.

A network was built and used to identify pathways, miRNA and drugs associated with ALS, AD and PD using Cytoscape software an interaction network based on the protein interactions of these genes. The most important affected pathway is PI3K-Akt signalling. Thirteen microRNAs (miRNA-19B1, miRNA-107, miRNA-124–1, miRNA-124–2, miRNA-9–2, miRNA-29A, miRNA-9–3, miRNA-328, miRNA-19B2, miRNA-29B2, miRNA-124–3, miRNA-15A and miRNA-9–1) and four drugs (Estradiol, Acetaminophen, Resveratrol and Progesterone) for new possible treatments were identified.

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