Identification of key genes of human bone marrow stromal cells adipogenesis at an early stage

PeerJ. 2020 Jul 21;8:e9484. doi: 10.7717/peerj.9484. eCollection 2020.


Background: Bone marrow adipocyte (BMA), closely associated with bone degeneration, shares common progenitors with osteoblastic lineage. However, the intrinsic mechanism of cells fate commitment between BMA and osteogenic lineage remains unclear.

Methods: Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) dataset GSE107789 publicly available was downloaded and analyzed. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were analyzed using GEO2R. Functional and pathway enrichment analyses of Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes were conducted by The Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery and Gene set enrichment analysis software. Protein-protein interactions (PPI) network was obtained using STRING database, visualized and clustered by Cytoscape software. Transcriptional levels of key genes were verified by real-time quantitative PCR in vitro in Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) undergoing adipogenic differentiation at day 7 and in vivo in ovariectomized mice model.

Results: A total of 2,869 DEGs, including 1,357 up-regulated and 1,512 down-regulated ones, were screened out from transcriptional profile of human BMSCs undergoing adipogenic induction at day 7 vs. day 0. Functional and pathway enrichment analysis, combined with modules analysis of PPI network, highlighted ACSL1, sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors 3 (S1PR3), ZBTB16 and glypican 3 as key genes up-regulated at the early stage of BMSCs adipogenic differentiation. Furthermore, up-regulated mRNA expression levels of ACSL1, S1PR3 and ZBTB16 were confirmed both in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusion: ACSL1, S1PR3 and ZBTB16 may play crucial roles in early regulation of BMSCs adipogenic differentiation.

Keywords: Adipogenesis; Bioinformatics; Bone marrow adipocytes; Bone marrow stromal cells; Differentially expressed genes.

Grant support

This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81772366) and The Major Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81830079). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.