Unearthing of Key Genes Driving the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease via Bioinformatics

Front Genet. 2021 Apr 16:12:641100. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.641100. eCollection 2021.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease with unelucidated molecular pathogenesis. Herein, we aimed to identify potential hub genes governing the pathogenesis of AD. The AD datasets of GSE118553 and GSE131617 were collected from the NCBI GEO database. The weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), differential gene expression analysis, and functional enrichment analysis were performed to reveal the hub genes and verify their role in AD. Hub genes were validated by machine learning algorithms. We identified modules and their corresponding hub genes from the temporal cortex (TC), frontal cortex (FC), entorhinal cortex (EC), and cerebellum (CE). We obtained 33, 42, 42, and 41 hub genes in modules associated with AD in TC, FC, EC, and CE tissues, respectively. Significant differences were recorded in the expression levels of hub genes between AD and the control group in the TC and EC tissues (P < 0.05). The differences in the expressions of FCGRT, SLC1A3, PTN, PTPRZ1, and PON2 in the FC and CE tissues among the AD and control groups were significant (P < 0.05). The expression levels of PLXNB1, GRAMD3, and GJA1 were statistically significant between the Braak NFT stages of AD. Overall, our study uncovered genes that may be involved in AD pathogenesis and revealed their potential for the development of AD biomarkers and appropriate AD therapeutics targets.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; WGCNA; biomarkers; machine learning; pathogenesis.