Identifying hub genes for glaucoma

Key Takeaways

  • Researchers identified eight hub genes that may play a role in the development of glaucoma.
  • The researchers further stablished a molecular diagnostic model that allows for the diagnosis of glaucoma.

Term:

In gene networks, hub genes are those that interact with many other genes, and commonly play a critical role in biological processes and gene regulation (which genes are “turned on” or “turned off” in a cell).

Glaucoma has afflicted many patients for many years, with excessive pressure in the eye continuously damaging the nervous system and leading to severe blindness.  An effective molecular diagnostic method is currently lacking. The present study attempted to reveal the molecular mechanism and gene regulatory network of hub genes in glaucoma and further attempted to reveal the drug-gene-disease network regulated by hub genes.

First, the authors identified genes that were differentially expressed in glaucoma.  Next, they used machine learning models, a branch of artificial intelligence based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention, to identify eight hub genes. Based on these genes, the authors then built a molecular diagnostic model of glaucoma that showed excellent performance in diagnosing glaucoma.  In addition, the authors constructed gene-drug networks in an attempt to explore novel therapeutic agents for glaucoma. The research provides a basis for future systematic studies of glaucoma pathogenesis.

Source: Y Xie and K Yu, Curr Med Chem. 2024 Feb 14. doi: 10.2174/0109298673283658231130104550; see source article