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Jiaqing Shao 1 Article
Type 1 Diabetes
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Identification of Key Genes and Pathways in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus by Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis
Xing Li, Mingyu Liao, Jiangheng Guan, Ling Zhou, Rufei Shen, Min Long, Jiaqing Shao
Diabetes Metab J. 2022;46(3):451-463.   Published online April 1, 2022
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary MaterialPubReader   ePub   
The onset and progression of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is closely related to autoimmunity. Effective monitoring of the immune system and developing targeted therapies are frontier fields in T1DM treatment. Currently, the most available tissue that reflects the immune system is peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Thus, the aim of this study was to identify key PBMC biomarkers of T1DM.
Common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets GSE9006, GSE72377, and GSE55098, and PBMC mRNA expression in T1DM patients was compared with that in healthy participants by GEO2R. Gene Ontology, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analyses of DEGs were performed using the Cytoscape, DAVID, and STRING databases. The vital hub genes were validated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using clinical samples. The disease-gene-drug interaction network was built using the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) and Drug Gene Interaction Database (DGIdb).
We found that various biological functions or pathways related to the immune system and glucose metabolism changed in PBMCs from T1DM patients. In the PPI network, the DEGs of module 1 were significantly enriched in processes including inflammatory and immune responses and in pathways of proteoglycans in cancer. Moreover, we focused on four vital hub genes, namely, chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1), C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1), matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP9), and granzyme B (GZMB), and confirmed them in clinical PBMC samples. Furthermore, the disease-gene-drug interaction network revealed the potential of key genes as reference markers in T1DM.
These results provide new insight into T1DM pathogenesis and novel biomarkers that could be widely representative reference indicators or potential therapeutic targets for clinical applications.


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