Use of Microarray Datasets to generate Caco-2-dedicated Networks and to identify Reporter Genes of Specific Pathway Activity

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 28;7(1):6778. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06355-0.


Intestinal epithelial cells, like Caco-2, are commonly used to study the interaction between food, other luminal factors and the host, often supported by microarray analysis to study the changes in gene expression as a result of the exposure. However, no compiled dataset for Caco-2 has ever been initiated and Caco-2-dedicated gene expression networks are barely available. Here, 341 Caco-2-specific microarray samples were collected from public databases and from in-house experiments pertaining to Caco-2 cells exposed to pathogens, probiotics and several food compounds. Using these datasets, a gene functional association network specific for Caco-2 was generated containing 8937 nodes 129711 edges. Two in silico methods, a modified version of biclustering and the new Differential Expression Correlation Analysis, were developed to identify Caco-2-specific gene targets within a pathway of interest. These methods were subsequently applied to the AhR and Nrf2 signalling pathways and altered expression of the predicted target genes was validated by qPCR in Caco-2 cells exposed to coffee extracts, known to activate both AhR and Nrf2 pathways. The datasets and in silico method(s) to identify and predict responsive target genes can be used to more efficiently design experiments to study Caco-2/intestinal epithelial-relevant biological processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Reporter*
  • Humans
  • Microarray Analysis*
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*