Identification of Novel Biomarkers in Platelets for Diagnosing Parkinson's Disease

Eur Neurol. 2021 Dec 7;1-10. doi: 10.1159/000520102. Online ahead of print.


Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease affecting the elderly, but there is no blood test for PD diagnosis in the clinic currently. This study aimed to explore promising biomarkers in platelets (PLTs) for PD diagnosis.

Methods: PLTs were isolated from whole blood samples of PD patients and healthy controls (HCs), and RNA was extracted for sequencing. RNA-seq was performed on the Illumina HiSeq platform.

Results: A total of 2,221 genes with differential transcript levels (GDTLs) were identified between PD patients and HCs, 1,041 of which are upregulated genes and 1,180 of which are downregulated genes. WASH5P was the most upregulated gene and AC114491.1 was the most downregulated gene. Among the top 12 most relevant genes, metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1), eukaryotic elongation factor 1A (EEF1A1), and cathepsin S (CTSS) were reported to be associated with PD. Furthermore, gene ontology analysis showed that the most significant term in biological processes was neutrophil degranulation; the most enriched term in cellular components was cytoplasmic vesicle lumen; and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily binding was the most significant term in molecular functions. In the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis, inflammation-related pathway accounts for the majority.

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated WASH5P, MALAT1, EEF1A1, and CTSS may be promising biomarkers in PD, which may contribute to improving the effectiveness and accuracy of diagnosis for PD in the future.

Keywords: GO and KEGG enrichment analysis; Genes with differential expression levels; Parkinson’s disease; Platelet RNA-Seq.