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Identification of key microRNAs and genes in preeclampsia by bioinformatics analysis

Shouling Luo, Nannan Cao, Yao Tang, Weirong Gu
PloS One 2017, 12 (6): e0178549
Preeclampsia is a leading cause of perinatal maternal-foetal mortality and morbidity. The aim of this study is to identify the key microRNAs and genes in preeclampsia and uncover their potential functions. We downloaded the miRNA expression profile of GSE84260 and the gene expression profile of GSE73374 from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Differentially expressed miRNAs and genes were identified and compared to miRNA-target information from MiRWalk 2.0, and a total of 65 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMIs), including 32 up-regulated miRNAs and 33 down-regulated miRNAs, and 91 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 83 up-regulated genes and 8 down-regulated genes, were identified. The pathway enrichment analyses of the DEMIs showed that the up-regulated DEMIs were enriched in the Hippo signalling pathway and MAPK signalling pathway, and the down-regulated DEMIs were enriched in HTLV-I infection and miRNAs in cancers. The gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway (KEGG) enrichment analyses of the DEGs were performed using Multifaceted Analysis Tool for Human Transcriptome. The up-regulated DEGs were enriched in biological processes (BPs), including the response to cAMP, response to hydrogen peroxide and cell-cell adhesion mediated by integrin; no enrichment of down-regulated DEGs was identified. KEGG analysis showed that the up-regulated DEGs were enriched in the Hippo signalling pathway and pathways in cancer. A PPI network of the DEGs was constructed by using Cytoscape software, and FOS, STAT1, MMP14, ITGB1, VCAN, DUSP1, LDHA, MCL1, MET, and ZFP36 were identified as the hub genes. The current study illustrates a characteristic microRNA profile and gene profile in preeclampsia, which may contribute to the interpretation of the progression of preeclampsia and provide novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for preeclampsia.


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