Identification of co‑expression modules and hub genes of retinoblastoma via co‑expression analysis and protein‑protein interaction networks

Yukun Mao, Qingbin Nie, Yang Yang, Gengsheng Mao
Molecular Medicine Reports 2020 May 27
Retinoblastoma is a common intraocular malignant tumor in children. However, the molecular and genetic mechanisms of retinoblastoma remain unclear. The gene expression dataset GSE110811 was retrieved from Gene Expression Omnibus. After preprocessing, coexpression modules were constructed by weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), and modules associated with clinical traits were identified. In addition, functional enrichment analysis was performed for genes in the indicated modules, and protein‑protein interaction (PPI) networks and subnetworks were constructed based on these genes. Eight coexpression modules were constructed through WGCNA. Of these, the yellow module had the highest association with severity and age (r=0.82 and P=3e‑07; r=0.72 and P=3e‑05). The turquoise module had the highest association with months (r=‑0.63 and P=5e‑04). The genes in the two modules participate in multiple pathways of retinoblastoma, and by combining the PPI network and subnetworks; 10 hub genes were identified in the two modules. The present study identified coexpression modules and hub genes associated with clinical traits of retinoblastoma, providing novel insight into retinoblastoma progression.

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