Biological networks in Parkinson's disease: An insight into the epigenetic mechanisms associated with this disease

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

BMC Genomics


Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders in the world. Studying PD from systems biology perspective involving genes and their regulators might provide deeper insights into the complex molecular interactions associated with this disease. Result: We have studied gene co-expression network obtained from a PD-specific microarray data. The co-expression network identified 11 hub genes, of which eight genes are not previously known to be associated with PD. Further study on the functionality of these eight novel hub genes revealed that these genes play important roles in several neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, we have studied the tissue-specific expression and histone modification patterns of the novel hub genes. Most of these genes possess several histone modification sites those are already known to be associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Regulatory network namely mTF-miRNA-gene-gTF involves microRNA Transcription Factor (mTF), microRNA (miRNA), gene and gene Transcription Factor (gTF). Whereas long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) mediated regulatory network involves miRNA, gene, mTF and lncRNA. mTF-miRNA-gene-gTF regulatory network identified a novel feed-forward loop. lncRNA-mediated regulatory network identified novel lncRNAs of PD and revealed the two-way regulatory pattern of PD-specific miRNAs where miRNAs can be regulated by both the TFs and lncRNAs. SNP analysis of the most significant genes of the co-expression network identified 20 SNPs. These SNPs are present in the 3' UTR of known PD genes and are controlled by those miRNAs which are also involved in PD. Conclusion: Our study identified eight novel hub genes which can be considered as possible candidates for future biomarker identification studies for PD. The two regulatory networks studied in our work provide a detailed overview of the cellular regulatory mechanisms where the non-coding RNAs namely miRNA and lncRNA, can act as epigenetic regulators of PD. SNPs identified in our study can be helpful for identifying PD at an earlier stage. Overall, this study may impart a better comprehension of the complex molecular interactions associated with PD from systems biology perspective.



Publication Date



Open Access, Gold, Green

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