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Int J Biol Sci. 2018 Sep 7;14(12):1678-1685. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.27896. eCollection 2018.

The Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis Based on Human Signaling Networks and Stem Cell Expression Data.

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College of Bioinformatics Science and Technology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.
Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.
Dean's Office, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.
Department of general surgery, General Hospital of Heilongjiang Province Land Reclamation Bureau, 150088, Harbin, China.


Atherosclerosis is a common and complex disease, whose morbidity increased significantly. Here, an integrated approach was proposed to elucidate systematically the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis from a systems biology point of view. Two weighted human signaling networks were constructed based on atherosclerosis related gene expression data of stem cells. Then, 37 candidate Atherosclerosis-risk Modules were detected using four kinds of permutation tests. Five Atherosclerosis-risk Modules (three Absent Modules and two Emerging Modules) enriched in functions significantly associated with disease genes were identified and verified to be associated with the maintenance of normal biological process and the pathogenesis and development of atherosclerosis. Especially for Atherosclerosis-risk Emerging Module P96, it could distinguish between normal and disease samples by Supporting Vector Machine with the average expression value of the module as classification feature. These identified modules and their genes may act as potential atherosclerosis biomarkers. Our study would shed light on the signal transduction of atherosclerosis, and provide new insights to its pathogenesis from the perspective of stem cells.


atherosclerosis; expression data; human signaling network; module; stem cell

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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