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Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis Reveals Potential Pathway Biomarkers and Their Interactions for Clubfoot

Jing Ding, Zhenpeng Liang, Weijia Feng, Qixun Cai, Ziming Zhang

Department of Pediatric Orthopaedics, Xin Hua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e925249

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.925249

Available online: 2020-06-22

Published: 2020-08-23

BACKGROUND: Congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot), one of the most regular pediatric congenital skeletal anomalies, seriously affects the normal growth and development of about 1 in 1000 newborns. Although it has been investigated widely, the etiology and pathogenesis of clubfoot are still controversial.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: g: Profiler, NetworkAnalyst and WebGestalt were used to probe the enriched signaling pathways by using the Gene Ontology (GO), Human Phenotype Ontology (HP), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), Reactome (REAC), and WikiPathways (WP) databases. Large numbers of enriched signaling pathways were identified using the integrated bioinformatics enrichment analyses.
RESULTS: Apoptosis or programmed cell death (PCD), disease, muscle contraction, metabolism, and immune system were the top functions. Embryo or organ morphogenesis and development, cell or muscle contraction, and apoptosis were the top biological processes, and cell/muscle contraction and apoptosis were the top molecular functions using enriched GO terms analysis. There were a large number of complex interactions in the genes, enriched pathways, and transcription factor (TF)-miRNA co-regulatory networks. Transcription factors such as FOXN3, GLI3, HOX, and NCOR2 family regulated the gene expression of APAF1, BCL2, BID, CASP, MTHFR, and TPM family.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of bioinformatics enrichment analysis not only supported the previously proposed hypotheses, e.g., extracellular matrix (ECM) abnormality, fetal movement reducing, genetic abnormality, muscle abnormality, neurological abnormality, skeletal abnormality and vascular abnormality, but also indicated that cellular or immune responses to external stimulus, molecular transport and metabolism may be new etiological mechanisms in clubfoot.

Keywords: Clubfoot, Databases, Genetic, Neuroimmunomodulation