Aims: (1) to identify the most dysregulated genes in ureter tissue affected by congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) and to extract the biological meaning of these markers; (2) to describe the key molecular networks in CAKUT and to provide expression validation of the genes selected from these networks.
Main methods: Transcriptome data was obtained from ureter samples of CAKUT patients and controls by Illumina iScan microarray. Identification of differentially expressed genes was coupled with subsequent bioinformatics analyses. Expression of candidate genes was validated by qRT-PCR.
Key findings: Analysis of the transcriptome led to the identification of 78 commonly dysregulated genes in CAKUT tissue compared to controls. Integrative bioinformatic analyses of differentially expressed genes identified 7 major networks. The targets for qRT-PCR validation were selected as members of the major molecular networks in CAKUT, which had both, the significant high fold change and biological relevance for CAKUT. By qRT-PCR the substantial increase of LCN2, PROM1, SOSTDC1, and decrease of INA, RASD1 and TAC3 mRNA levels was confirmed.
Significance: Since CAKUT is a leading cause of end-stage renal disease in children, the search for molecular targets for postnatal therapy is of particular interest. Data described in this study represents the gene expression profile and significant molecular networks specific to human ureter affected by CAKUT. The discovery of impaired molecular factors and processes is the step towards the uncovering of the key mechanisms that reflect CAKUT postnatally and could lead to the affected tissue deterioration and end organ damage.
Keywords: Bioinformatics; CAKUT; Gene expression; Microarray; Molecular network.
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