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posted on 16.02.2018 by Amit Katiyar, Sujata Sharma, Tej P. Singh, Punit Kaur

Women with endometriosis (EMS) appear to be at a higher risk of developing other autoimmune diseases predominantly multiple sclerosis (MS). Though EMS and MS are evidently diverse in their phenotype, they are linked by a common autoimmune condition or immunodeficiency which could play a role in the expansion of endometriosis and possibly increase the risk of developing MS in women with EMS. However, the common molecular links connecting EMS with MS are still unclear. We conducted a meta-analysis of microarray experiments focused on EMS and MS with their respective controls. The GEO2R web application discovered a total of 711 and 1516 genes that are differentially expressed across the experimental conditions in EMS and MS, respectively with 129 shared DEGs between them. The functional enrichment analysis of DEGs predicts the shared gene expression signatures as well as the overlapping biological processes likely to infer the co-occurrence of EMS with MS. Network based meta-analysis unveiled six interaction networks/crosstalks through overlapping edges between commonly dysregulated pathways of EMS and MS. The PTPN1, ERBB3, and CDH1 were observed to be the highly ranked hub genes connected with disease-related genes of both EMS and MS. Androgen receptor (AR) and nuclear factor-kB p65 (RelA) were observed to be the most enriched transcription factor in the upstream of shared down-regulated and up-regulated genes, respectively. The two disease sample sets compared through crosstalk interactions between shared pathways revealed commonly up- and down-regulated expressions of 10 immunomodulatory proteins as probable linkers between EMS and MS. This study pinpoints the number of shared genes, pathways, protein kinases, and upstream regulators that may help in the development of biomarkers for diagnosis of MS and endometriosis at the same time through improved understanding of shared molecular signatures and crosstalk.