Common gene-network signature of different neurological disorders and their potential implications to neuroAIDS

PLoS One. 2017 Aug 8;12(8):e0181642. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181642. eCollection 2017.


The neurological complications of AIDS (neuroAIDS) during the infection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are symptomized by non-specific, multifaceted neurological conditions and therefore, defining a specific diagnosis/treatment mechanism(s) for this neuro-complexity at the molecular level remains elusive. Using an in silico based integrated gene network analysis we discovered that HIV infection shares convergent gene networks with each of twelve neurological disorders selected in this study. Importantly, a common gene network was identified among HIV infection, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and age macular degeneration. An mRNA microarray analysis in HIV-infected monocytes showed significant changes in the expression of several genes of this in silico derived common pathway which suggests the possible physiological relevance of this gene-circuit in driving neuroAIDS condition. Further, this unique gene network was compared with another in silico derived novel, convergent gene network which is shared by seven major neurological disorders (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Age Macular Degeneration, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Vascular Dementia, and Restless Leg Syndrome). These networks differed in their gene circuits; however, in large, they involved innate immunity signaling pathways, which suggests commonalities in the immunological basis of different neuropathogenesis. The common gene circuits reported here can provide a prospective platform to understand how gene-circuits belonging to other neuro-disorders may be convoluted during real-time neuroAIDS condition and it may elucidate the underlying-and so far unknown-genetic overlap between HIV infection and neuroAIDS risk. Also, it may lead to a new paradigm in understanding disease progression, identifying biomarkers, and developing therapies.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Dementia Complex / genetics*
  • AIDS Dementia Complex / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Computational Biology
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • HIV-1
  • Humans
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger