Table12_Integrated Network Analysis to Identify Key Modules and Potential Hub Genes Involved in Bovine Respiratory Disease: A Systems Biology Approach.xlsx (49.73 kB)
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Table12_Integrated Network Analysis to Identify Key Modules and Potential Hub Genes Involved in Bovine Respiratory Disease: A Systems Biology Approach.xlsx

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posted on 18.10.2021, 13:03 authored by Aliakbar Hasankhani, Abolfazl Bahrami, Negin Sheybani, Farhang Fatehi, Roxana Abadeh, Hamid Ghaem Maghami Farahani, Mohammad Reza Bahreini Behzadi, Ghazaleh Javanmard, Sadegh Isapour, Hosein Khadem, Herman W. Barkema

Background: Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the most common disease in the beef and dairy cattle industry. BRD is a multifactorial disease resulting from the interaction between environmental stressors and infectious agents. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying BRD are not fully understood yet. Therefore, this study aimed to use a systems biology approach to systematically evaluate this disorder to better understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for BRD.

Methods: Previously published RNA-seq data from whole blood of 18 healthy and 25 BRD samples were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and then analyzed. Next, two distinct methods of weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), i.e., module–trait relationships (MTRs) and module preservation (MP) analysis were used to identify significant highly correlated modules with clinical traits of BRD and non-preserved modules between healthy and BRD samples, respectively. After identifying respective modules by the two mentioned methods of WGCNA, functional enrichment analysis was performed to extract the modules that are biologically related to BRD. Gene coexpression networks based on the hub genes from the candidate modules were then integrated with protein–protein interaction (PPI) networks to identify hub–hub genes and potential transcription factors (TFs).

Results: Four significant highly correlated modules with clinical traits of BRD as well as 29 non-preserved modules were identified by MTRs and MP methods, respectively. Among them, two significant highly correlated modules (identified by MTRs) and six nonpreserved modules (identified by MP) were biologically associated with immune response, pulmonary inflammation, and pathogenesis of BRD. After aggregation of gene coexpression networks based on the hub genes with PPI networks, a total of 307 hub–hub genes were identified in the eight candidate modules. Interestingly, most of these hub–hub genes were reported to play an important role in the immune response and BRD pathogenesis. Among the eight candidate modules, the turquoise (identified by MTRs) and purple (identified by MP) modules were highly biologically enriched in BRD. Moreover, STAT1, STAT2, STAT3, IRF7, and IRF9 TFs were suggested to play an important role in the immune system during BRD by regulating the coexpressed genes of these modules. Additionally, a gene set containing several hub–hub genes was identified in the eight candidate modules, such as TLR2, TLR4, IL10, SOCS3, GZMB, ANXA1, ANXA5, PTEN, SGK1, IFI6, ISG15, MX1, MX2, OAS2, IFIH1, DDX58, DHX58, RSAD2, IFI44, IFI44L, EIF2AK2, ISG20, IFIT5, IFITM3, OAS1Y, HERC5, and PRF1, which are potentially critical during infection with agents of bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC).

Conclusion: This study not only helps us to better understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for BRD but also suggested eight candidate modules along with several promising hub–hub genes as diagnosis biomarkers and therapeutic targets for BRD.

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