Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is one of the most common causes of heart failure. Several studies have used RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) to profile differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with DCM. In this study, we aimed to profile gene expression signatures and identify novel genes associated with DCM through a quantitative meta-analysis of three publicly available RNA-seq studies using human left ventricle tissues from 41 DCM cases and 21 control samples. Our meta-analysis identified 789 DEGs including 581 downregulated and 208 upregulated genes. Several DCM-related genes previously reported, including MYH6, CKM, NKX2-5 and ATP2A2, were among the top 50 DEGs. Our meta-analysis also identified 39 new DEGs that were not detected using those individual RNA-seq datasets. Some of those genes, including PTH1R, ADAM15 and S100A4, confirmed previous reports of associations with cardiovascular functions. Using DEGs from this meta-analysis, the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) identified five activated toxicity pathways, including failure of heart as the most significant pathway. Among the upstream regulators, SMARCA4 was downregulated and prioritized by IPA as the top affected upstream regulator for several DCM-related genes. To our knowledge, this study is the first to perform a transcriptomic meta-analysis for clinical DCM using RNA-seq datasets. Overall, our meta-analysis successfully identified a core set of genes associated with DCM.
Keywords: RNA-seq; dilated cardiomyopathy; heat failure; human; meta-analysis.