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Med Sci Monit. 2016 May 10;22:1571-81.

DNA Microarray Analysis in Screening Features of Genes Involved in Spinal Cord Injury.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Hebei University of Engineering, Handan, Hebei, China (mainland).
, Medical College of Hebei University of Engineering, Handan, Hebei, China (mainland).
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The 6th Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical College, Yuxi, Yunan, China (mainland).
Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China (mainland).
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, General Hospital of Jizhong Energy Fengfeng Group, Handan, Hebei, China (mainland).


BACKGROUND Spinal cord injury (SCI) is the most critical complication of spinal injury. We aimed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and to find associated pathways that may function as targets for SCI prognosis and therapy. MATERIAL AND METHODS Seven gene microarray expression profiles, downloaded from the GEO database (ID: GSE33886), were used to screen the DEGs of leg tissue and to compare these between SCI patients and corresponding normal specimens. Then, GO enrichment analysis was performed on these selected DEGs. Afterwards, interactions among these DEGs were analyzed by String database and then a PPI network was constructed to obtain topology character and modules in the PPI network. Finally, roles of the critical proteins in the pathway were explained by comparing the enrichment results of the genes in sub-modules and all the DEGs. RESULTS A total of 113 DEGs were determined. We found that 21 up-regulated genes were enriched in 7 biological processes, while 9 down-regulated genes were significantly enriched in 4 KEGG pathways. The PPI network was constructed, including 40 interacting genes and 73 interactions. Three obvious function modules were identified by exploring the PPI network, and ACTC1 was identified as the critical protein in the 3 enriched signal pathways. However, no obvious difference was found in the signal pathway in which both the 11 genes in module 1 and all 113 DEGs participated. CONCLUSIONS Core proteins in the signal pathway associated with spinal cord injury may serve as potential prognostic and predictive markers for the diagnosis and treatment of spinal cord injury in clinical applications.

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