Angelman-like syndromes are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that entail clinical presentation similar to Angelman Syndrome (AS). In our previous study, we showed that calcium signaling is disrupted in AS, and we identified calcium-target and calcium-regulating gene signatures that are able to differentiate between AS and their controls in different models. In the herein study, we evaluated these sets of calcium-target and calcium-regulating genes as signatures of AS-like and non-AS-like syndromes. We collected a number of RNA-seq datasets of various AS-like and non-AS-like syndromes and performed Principle Component Analysis (PCA) separately on the two sets of signature genes to visualize the distribution of samples on the PC1-PC2 plane. In addition to the evaluation of calcium signature genes, we performed differential gene expression analyses to identify calcium-related genes dysregulated in each of the studied syndromes. These analyses showed that the calcium-target and calcium-regulating signatures differentiate well between AS-like syndromes and their controls. However, in spite of the fact that many of the non-AS-like syndromes have multiple differentially expressed calcium-related genes, the calcium signatures were not efficient classifiers for non-AS-like neurodevelopmental disorders. These results show that features based on clinical presentation are reflected in signatures derived from bioinformatics analyses and suggest the use of bioinformatics as a tool for classification.
Keywords: Angelman syndrome; Angelman-like syndromes; RNA sequencing; calcium signaling; calcium-regulating genes; calcium-target genes; transcriptome.