Analysis of functional and pathway association of differential co-expressed genes: A case study in drug addiction

College of Bioinformatics Science and Technology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, China.
Journal of Biomedical Informatics (Impact Factor: 2.19). 08/2011; 45(1):30-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2011.08.014
Source: PubMed


Drug addiction has been considered as a kind of chronic relapsing brain disease influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. At present, many causative genes and pathways related to diverse kinds of drug addiction have been discovered, while less attention has been paid to common mechanisms shared by different drugs underlying addiction. By applying a co-expression meta-analysis method to mRNA expression profiles of alcohol, cocaine, heroin addicted and normal samples, we identified significant gene co-expression pairs. As co-expression networks of drug group and control group constructed, associated function term pairs and pathway pairs reflected by co-expression pattern changes were discovered by integrating functional and pathway information respectively. The results indicated that respiratory electron transport chain, synaptic transmission, mitochondrial electron transport, signal transduction, locomotory behavior, response to amphetamine, negative regulation of cell migration, glucose regulation of insulin secretion, signaling by NGF, diabetes pathways, integration of energy metabolism, dopamine receptors may play an important role in drug addiction. In addition, the results can provide theory support for studies of addiction mechanisms.

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