Identification of key genes in human urothelial cells corresponding to interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome in a lipopolysaccharide-induced cystitis model.

The cellular functions of bladder urothelial cells in interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) have not been well revealed and understood. Thus, the study aims to identify key genes and significant pathways in urothelium corresponding to IC/BPS in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cystitis model and provide novel clues related to diagnosis and treatment of IC/BPS.

Human urothelial cells (HUCs) were incubated with LPS (50 μg/ml for 24 h). Microarray was applied to analyze the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between HUCs under LPS treatment and the control group. DEGs in the two groups were identified and then used for enrichment analysis. Subsequently, protein-protein interaction (PPI) network based on DEGs was constructed. Lastly, the top five key genes were identified through the Cytoscape (version 3.7.2) using the "Clustering Coefficient" algorithm.

One hundred and seventy-one DEGs (96 upregulated genes and 75 downregulated genes) were identified between the LPS treatment and control group. The established PPI network was composed of 169 nodes and 678 edges. Moreover, C19orf33, TRIM31, MUC21, ELF3, and IFI27 were identified as hub genes in the PPI network. Subsequently, a statistically increased expression level of TRIM31 and ELF3 was validated by real-time quantitative-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry in bladder tissues from 20 patients with IC/BPS.

TRIM31 and ELF3 may be the two hub genes in urothelium corresponding to IC/BPS. More studies are warranted to further validate the findings. The identified marker genes may be useful targets for further studies to develop diagnostic tools and more effective therapies for a broader group of women with IC/PBS.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2021 Jul 10 [Epub ahead of print]

Liao Peng, Bo-Ya Li, Wei Wang, Xiao-Shuai Gao, Xiao Zeng, De-Yi Luo

Department of Urology, Institute of Urology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

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