Abstract: 5-Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is a precursor of the photosensitizer used in photodynamic therapy. It accumulates in tumor cells and subsequently metabolizes to protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), which generates singlet oxygen after light irradiation. PpIX enhances the generation of reactive oxygen species following physicochemical interactions with X-rays. ALA-based treatment using fractionated doses of irradiation suppressed tumor growth in a mouse melanoma model. To study the transcriptomic effects of PpIX, microarray analyses were conducted using HeLa cells with limited proliferation capacity. Based on the p-values (p < 0.01), we selected genes showing altered expression in each treatment group with reference to the non-treatment (NT) group. We detected 290, 196 and 28 upregulated genes, as well as 203, 146 and 36 downregulated genes after a 6 h-long PpIX treatment (1 μg/mL) prior to 3 Gy X-ray irradiation (PpIX-XT), 3 Gy X-ray irradiation alone (XT) and PpIX treatment alone (PpIXT), respectively. Functional analysis revealed that a majority of the regulated genes in the XT and PpIX-XT groups were related to cell-cycle arrest. The XT and PpIX-XT groups differed in the quantity, but not in the quality of their gene expression. The combined effect of PpIX and X-ray irradiation sensitized HeLa cells to X-ray treatment.
Abstract: Our group has been systematically investigating the effects of the neuropeptide pituitary adenylate-cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) on the ischemic brain. To do so, we have established and utilized the permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (PMCAO) mouse model, in which PACAP38 (1 pmol) injection is given intracerebroventrically and compared to a control saline (0.9% sodium chloride, NaCl) injection, to unravel genome‑wide gene expression changes using a high-throughput DNA microarray analysis approach. In our previous studies, we have accumulated a large volume of data (gene inventory) from the whole brain (ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres) after both PMCAO and post-PACAP38 injection. In our latest research, we have targeted specifically infarct or ischemic core (hereafter abbreviated IC) and penumbra (hereafter abbreviated P) post-PACAP38 injections in order to re-examine the transcriptome at 6 and 24 h post injection. The current study aims to delineate the specificity of expression and localization of differentially expressed molecular factors influenced by PACAP38 in the IC and P regions. Utilizing the mouse 4 × 44 K whole genome DNA chip we show numerous changes (≧/≦ 1.5/0.75-fold) at both 6 h (654 and 456, and 522 and 449 up- and down-regulated genes for IC and P, respectively) and 24 h (2568 and 2684, and 1947 and 1592 up- and down-regulated genes for IC and P, respectively) after PACAP38 treatment. Among the gene inventories obtained here, two genes, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) and transthyretin (Ttr) were found to be induced by PACAP38 treatment, which we had not been able to identify previously using the whole hemisphere transcriptome analysis. Using bioinformatics analysis by pathway- or specific-disease-state focused gene classifications and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) the differentially expressed genes are functionally classified and discussed. Among these, we specifically discuss some novel and previously identified genes, such as alpha hemoglobin stabilizing protein (Ahsp), cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (Camp), chemokines, interferon beta 1 (Ifnb1), and interleukin 6 (Il6) in context of PACAP38-mediated neuroprotection in the ischemic brain. Taken together, the DNA microarray analysis provides not only a great resource for further study, but also reinforces the importance of region-specific analyses in genome-wide identification of target molecular factors that might play a role in the neuroprotective function of PACAP38.
Abstract: Microarray data analysis typically consists in identifying a list of differentially expressed genes (DEG), i.e., the genes that are differentially expressed between two experimental conditions. Variance shrinkage methods have been considered a better choice than the standard t-test for selecting the DEG because they correct the dependence of the error with the expression level. This dependence is mainly caused by errors in background correction, which more severely affects genes with low expression values. Here, we propose a new method for identifying the DEG that overcomes this issue and does not require background correction or variance shrinkage. Unlike current methods, our methodology is easy to understand and implement. It consists of applying the standard t-test directly on the normalized intensity data, which is possible because the probe intensity is proportional to the gene expression level and because the t-test is scale- and location-invariant. This methodology considerably improves the sensitivity and robustness of the list of DEG when compared with the t-test applied to preprocessed data and to the most widely used shrinkage methods, Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM) and Linear Models for Microarray Data (LIMMA). Our approach is useful especially when the genes of interest have small differences in expression and therefore get ignored by standard variance shrinkage methods.
Abstract: The great utility of microarrays for genome-scale expression analysis is challenged by the widespread presence of batch effects, which bias expression measurements in particular within large data sets. These unwanted technical artifacts can obscure biological variation and thus significantly reduce the reliability of the analysis results. It is largely unknown which are the predominant technical sources leading to batch effects. We here quantitatively assess the prevalence and impact of several known technical effects on microarray expression results. Particularly, we focus on important factors such as RNA degradation, RNA quantity, and sequence biases including multiple guanine effects. We find that the common variation of RNA quality and RNA quantity can not only yield low-quality expression results, but that both factors also correlate with batch effects and biological characteristics of the samples.
Abstract: Over the last few years, miRNA microarray platforms have provided great insights into the biological mechanisms underlying the onset and development of several diseases. However, only a few studies have evaluated the concordance between different microarray platforms using methods that took into account measurement error in the data. In this work, we propose the use of a modified version of the Bland–Altman plot to assess agreement between microarray platforms. To this aim, two samples, one renal tumor cell line and a pool of 20 different human normal tissues, were profiled using three different miRNA platforms (Affymetrix, Agilent, Illumina) on triplicate arrays. Intra-platform reliability was assessed by calculating pair-wise concordance correlation coefficients (CCC) between technical replicates and overall concordance correlation coefficient (OCCC) with bootstrap percentile confidence intervals, which revealed moderate-to-good repeatability of all platforms for both samples. Modified Bland–Altman analysis revealed good patterns of concordance for Agilent and Illumina, whereas Affymetrix showed poor-to-moderate agreement for both samples considered. The proposed method is useful to assess agreement between array platforms by modifying the original Bland–Altman plot to let it account for measurement error and bias correction and can be used to assess patterns of concordance between other kinds of arrays other than miRNA microarrays.