Research Papers:

Identifying characteristic miRNAs-genes and risk pathways of multiple sclerosis based on bioinformatics analysis

Deling Luo and Jin Fu _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:5287-5300. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23866

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Deling Luo1 and Jin Fu1

1Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Nangang District, Harbin 150086, China

Correspondence to:

Jin Fu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: miRNAs; multiple sclerosis; peripheral blood mono-nuclear cells; susceptibility gene; therapy

Received: February 18, 2017    Accepted: December 18, 2017    Published: January 02, 2018


Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system. In MS, the genetic susceptibility is high and currently there is no effective treatment. MicroRNA, a small non-coding RNA, plays a vital role in immune responses. Aberrant or dysfunctional miRNAs may cause several diseases, including MS, thus miRNAs and miRNA related genes may be therapeutic weapons against MS. Here, we identified 21 miRNAs in peripheral blood mono-nuclear cells from over 600 persons, including healthy controls. By using informatics databases, 1637 susceptibility genes were evaluated and Cytoscape was used to integrate and visualize the relation between the miRNA identified and susceptibility genes. By using the cluster Profile package, a total of 10 risk pathways were discovered. Top pathways included: hsa05200 (pathway in cancer), hsa04010 (MAPK signaling pathway), and hsa04060 (cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction). By using the STRING database, a protein-protein interaction network was conducted to identify highly susceptibility genes. Moreover, the GSE21942 dataset was used to indicate the gene expression profiles and to correct prediction results, thereby identifying the most pivotal genes. The MiRSystem database provided information on both pivotal miRNAs and genes. In conclusion, miR-199a and miR-142-3p may be crucial for MS by targeting pivotal susceptibility genes, in particular KRAS and IL7R.

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