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Arch Oral Biol. 2013 Jan;58(1):42-9. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2012.07.010. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Leader genes in osteogenesis: a theoretical study.

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  • 1Laboratories of Biophysics and Nanobiotechnology, Department of Medical Science, University of Genova, Italy. b_orlando@virgilio.it

Abstract

Little is still known about the molecular mechanisms involved in the process of osteogenesis. In this paper, the leader genes approach, a new bioinformatics method which has already been experimentally validated, is adopted in order to identify the genes involved in human osteogenesis. Interactions among genes are then calculated and genes are ranked according to their relative importance in this process. In total, 167 genes were identified as being involved in osteogenesis. Genes were divided into 4 groups, according to their main function in the osteogenic processes: skeletal development; cell adhesion and proliferation; ossification; and calcium ion binding. Seven genes were consistently identified as leader genes (i.e. the genes with the greatest importance in osteogenesis), while 14 were found to have slightly less importance (class B genes). It was interesting to notice that the larger part of leader and class B genes belonged to the cell adhesion and proliferation or to the ossification sub-groups. This finding suggested that these two particular sub-processes could play a more important role in osteogenesis. Moreover, among the 7 leader genes, it is interesting to notice that RUNX2, BMP2, SPARC, PTH play a direct role in bone formation, while the 3 other leader genes (VEGF, IL6, FGF2) seem to be more connected with an angiogenetic process. Twenty-nine genes have no known interactions (orphan genes). From these results, it may be possible to plan an ad hoc experimentation, for instance by microarray analyses, focused on leader, class B and orphan genes, with the aim to shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying osteogenesis.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
22884391
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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