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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Bioinformatics Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes and Protein–Protein Interaction Networks Associated with Functional Pathways in Ulcerative Colitis

Feng Cao, Yun-Sheng Cheng, Liang Yu, Yan-Yan Xu, Yong Wang

(Department of General Surgery, The Second Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e927917

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.927917

BACKGROUND: This bioinformatics study aimed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks associated with functional pathways in ulcerative colitis based on 3 Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The GSE87466, GSE75214, and GSE48958 MINiML formatted family files were downloaded from the GEO database. DEGs were identified from the 3 datasets, and volcano maps and heat maps were drawn after R language standardization and analysis, respectively. Venn diagram software was used to identify common DEGs. PPI analysis of common DEGs was performed using the Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes. Gene modules and hub genes were visualized in the PPI network using Cytoscape. Enrichment analysis was performed for all common DEGs, module genes, and hub genes.
RESULTS: A total of 90 DEGs were selected, which included 3 functional modules and 1 hub gene module. CXCL8 module genes were mainly enriched in cytokine-mediated signaling pathways and interleukin (IL)-10 signaling. CCL20 module genes were mainly enriched in the IL-17 signaling pathway and cellular response to IL-1. Hub gene modules mainly involved IL-10, IL-4, and IL-13 signaling pathways. CXCL8, CXCL1, and IL-1ß were the top 3 hub genes and were mainly involved in IL-10 signaling.
CONCLUSIONS: Bioinformatics analysis using 3 GEO datasets identified CXCL8, CXCL1, and IL-1ß, which are involved in IL-10 signaling, as the top 3 hub genes in ulcerative colitis. The findings from this study remain to be validated, but they may contribute to the further understanding of the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis.

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