Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Novel Gene Signatures Between Young and Old Adults in Human Prefrontal Cortex

Front Aging Neurosci. 2018 Aug 27:10:259. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00259. eCollection 2018.


Human neurons function over an entire lifetime, yet the molecular mechanisms which perform their functions and protecting against neurodegenerative disease during aging are still elusive. Here, we conducted a systematic study on the human brain aging by using the weighted gene correlation network analysis (WGCNA) method to identify meaningful modules or representative biomarkers for human brain aging. Significantly, 19 distinct gene modules were detected based on the dataset GSE53890; among them, six modules related to the feature of brain aging were highly preserved in diverse independent datasets. Interestingly, network feature analysis confirmed that the blue modules demonstrated a remarkably correlation with human brain aging progress. Besides, the top hub genes including PPP3CB, CAMSAP1, ACTR3B, and GNG3 were identified and characterized by high connectivity, module membership, or gene significance in the blue module. Furthermore, these genes were validated in mice of different ages. Mechanically, the potential regulators of blue module were investigated. These findings highlight an important role of the blue module and its affiliated genes in the control of normal brain aging, which may lead to potential therapeutic interventions for brain aging by targeting the hub genes.

Keywords: hub gene; normal brain aging; prefrontal cortical regions; transcriptomic; weighted gene correlation network analysis (WGCNA).