Biqing Huang1,2, Jing Li1, Jiuliang Zhao1

1Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, China
2Graduate School of Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

Keywords: Biomarkers, IL-6, interstitial, lung disease, pentraxin 3 , scleroderma, systemic, therapeutic targets, TNFAIP3


Objectives: This study aims to analyze gene expression in lung tissue and lung fibroblasts of patients with systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) to identify potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets and to examine its possible role in the pathogenesis of SSc-ILD.

Patients and methods: We obtained datasets from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, and used Robust Rank Aggregation to calculate the co-expressed differentially-expressed-genes (DEGs) in three chips, then analyzed the function, signaling pathways and the protein-protein interaction network of the DEGs. Finally, we verified the DEGs related to SSc-ILD by three databases of Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD), GENE, and DisGeNET, respectively.

Results: There were 16 co-expressed DEGs related to SSc-ILD in three GEO series, of which six genes were upregulated, and 10 genes were downregulated. The CTD included 29,936 genes related to SSc, and the GENE and DisGeNET databases had 429 genes related to SSc.

Conclusion: The results of gene differential expression analysis suggest that interleukin-6, chemokine ligand 2, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, tumor necrosis factor alpha-induced protein 3, pentraxin 3, and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein may be implicated in the pathogenesis of SSc-ILD and are expected to be potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for SSc-ILD.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.