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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Identification of Key Pathways and Genes in Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma via Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis

Shengqing Hu, Yunfei Liao, Lulu Chen

(Department of Endocrinology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6438-6448

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910088


BACKGROUND: To provide a better understanding of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) at the molecular level, this study aimed to identify the genes and key pathways associated with ATC by using integrated bioinformatics analysis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Based on the microarray data GSE9115, GSE65144, and GSE53072 derived from the Gene Expression Omnibus, the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ATC samples and normal controls were identified. With DEGs, we performed a series of functional enrichment analyses. Then, a protein–protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed and visualized, with which the hub gene nodes were screened out. Finally, modules analysis for the PPI network was performed to further investigate the potential relationships between DEGs and ATC.
RESULTS: A total of 537 common DEGs were screened out from all 3 datasets, among which 247 genes were upregulated and 275 genes were downregulated. GO analysis indicated that upregulated DEGs were mainly involved in cell division and mitotic nuclear division and the downregulated DEGs were significantly enriched in ventricular cardiac muscle cell action potential. KEGG pathway analysis showed that the upregulated DEGs were mainly enriched in cell cycle and ECM-receptor interaction and the downregulated DEGs were mainly enriched in thyroid hormone synthesis, insulin resistance, and pathways in cancer. The top 10 hub genes in the constructed PPI network were CDK1, CCNB1, TOP2A, AURKB, CCNA2, BUB1, AURKA, CDC20, MAD2L1, and BUB1B. The modules analysis showed that genes in the top 2 significant modules of PPI network were mainly associated with mitotic cell cycle and positive regulation of mitosis, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified a series of key genes along with the pathways that were most closely related with ATC initiation and progression. Our results provide a more detailed molecular mechanism for the development of ATC, shedding light on the potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

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