Identification of Hub #Genes and #Pathways in #Zika Virus #Infection Using RNA-Seq Data: A Network-Based Computational Approach (Viral Immunol., abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Viral Immunol. 2018 Apr 2. doi: 10.1089/vim.2017.0116. [Epub ahead of print]

Identification of Hub Genes and Pathways in Zika Virus Infection Using RNA-Seq Data: A Network-Based Computational Approach.

Brahma R1, Gurumayum S1, Naorem LD1, Muthaiyan M1, Gopal J2, Venkatesan A1.

Author information: 1 1 Centre for Bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences, Pondicherry University , Puducherry, India . 2 2 Biomedical Informatics Centre, Vector Control Research Centre , Puducherry, India .



Zika virus (ZIKV), a single-strand RNA flavivirus, is transmitted primarily through Aedes aegypti. The recent outbreaks in America and unexpected association between ZIKV infection and birth defects have triggered the global attention. This vouches to understand the molecular mechanisms of ZIKV infection to develop effective drug therapy. A systems-level understanding of biological process affected by ZIKV infection in fetal brain sample led us to identify the candidate genes for pharmaceutical intervention and potential biomarkers for diagnosis. To identify the key genes, transcriptomics data (RNA-Seq) with GSE93385 of ZIKV (Strain: MR766) infected human fetal neural stem cell are analyzed. In total, 1,084 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) are identified, that is, 471 upregulated and 613 downregulated genes. Further analysis such as the gene ontology term suggested that the downregulated genes are mostly enriched in defense response to virus, receptor binding, laminin binding, extracellular matrix, endoplasmic reticulum, and for upregulated DEGs: translation initiation, RNA binding, cytosol, and nucleosome are enriched. And through pathway analysis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is found to be the most enriched pathway. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network is constructed to find the hub genes using STRING database. The seven key genes namely cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1), cyclin B1 (CCNB1), histone cluster 1 H2B family member K, (HIST1H2BK) histone cluster 1 H2B family member O (HIST1H2BO), and histone cluster 1 H2B family member B (HIST1H2BB), polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1), and cell division cycle 20 (CDC20) with highest degree are found to be hub genes using Centiscape, a Cytoscape plugin. The modules of PPI network using Molecular Complex Detection plugin are found significant in structural constituent of ribosome, defense response to virus, nucleosome, SLE, extracellular region, and regulation of gene silencing. Thus, identified key hub genes and pathways shed light on molecular mechanism that may contribute to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and development of new strategies for the intervention of ZIKV disease.

KEYWORDS: RNA sequencing; Zika virus; biological network; hub genes; pathways

PMID: 29608426 DOI: 10.1089/vim.2017.0116

Keywords: Zika Virus.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.

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