Systematic analysis to identify transcriptome-wide dysregulation of Alzheimer’s disease in genes and isoforms

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Fan, C
Chen, K
Zhou, J
Wong, PP
He, D
Huang, Y
Wang, X
Ling, T
Yang, Y
Zhao, H
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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common neurodegeneration diseases caused by multiple factors. The mechanistic insight of AD remains limited. To disclose molecular mechanisms of AD, many studies have been proposed from transcriptome analyses. However, no analysis across multiple levels of transcription has been conducted to discover co-expression networks of AD. We performed gene-level and isoform-level analyses of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data from 544 brain tissues of AD patients, mild cognitive impaired (MCI) patients, and healthy controls. Gene and isoform levels of co-expression modules were constructed by RNA-seq data. The associations of modules with AD were evaluated by integrating cognitive scores of patients, Genome-wide association studies (GWAS), alternative splicing analysis, and dementia-related genes expressed in brain tissues. Totally, 29 co-expression modules were found with expressions significantly correlated with the cognitive scores. Among them, two isoform modules were enriched with AD-associated SNPs and genes whose mRNA splicing displayed significant alteration in relation to AD disease. These two modules were further found enriched with dementia-related genes expressed in four brain regions of 125 AD patients. Analyzing expressions of these two modules revealed expressions of 39 isoforms (corresponding to 35 genes) significantly correlated with cognitive scores of AD patients, in which 38 isoforms were significantly up-regulated in AD patients comparing to controls, and 33 isoforms (corresponding to 29 genes) were not reported as AD-related previously. Employing the co-expression modules and the drug-induced gene expression data from Connectivity Map (CMAP), 12 drugs were predicted as significant in restoring the gene expression of AD patients towards health, which include nine drugs reported for relieving AD. In comparison, four of the top 12 significant drugs were known for relieving AD if the drug prediction was performed by the genes expressed significantly different in AD and healthy controls. Analysis of multiple levels of the transcriptomic organization is useful in suggesting AD-related co-expression networks and discovering drugs.

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Human Genetics

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Fan, C; Chen, K; Zhou, J; Wong, PP; He, D; Huang, Y; Wang, X; Ling, T; Yang, Y; Zhao, H, Systematic analysis to identify transcriptome-wide dysregulation of Alzheimer’s disease in genes and isoforms, Human Genetics, 2020