Investigation of the underlying hub genes and mechanisms of reperfusion injury in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery by integrated bioinformatic analyses

Zhida Shen, Jiangting Lu, Jiejin Wei, Juanjuan Zhao, Meihui Wang, Ming Wang, Xiaohua Shen, Xue Lü, Binquan Zhou, Yanbo Zhao, Guosheng Fu


Background: Although coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is the main method to revascularize the occluded coronary vessels in coronary artery diseases, the full benefits of the operation are mitigated by ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. Although many studies have been devoted to reducing IR injury in animal models, the translation of this research into the clinical field has been disappointing. Our study aimed to explore the underlying hub genes and mechanisms of IR injury.
Methods: A weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was executed based on the expression profiles in patients undergoing CABG surgery (GSE29396). Functional annotation and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network construction were executed within the modules of interest. Potential hub genes were predicted, combining both intramodular connectivity (IC) and degrees. Meanwhile, potential transcription factors (TFs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) were predicted by corresponding bioinformatics tools.
Results: A total of 336 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. DEGs were mainly enriched in neutrophil activity and immune response. Within the modules of interest, 5 upregulated hub genes (IL-6, CXCL8, IL-1β, MYC, PTGS-2) and 6 downregulated hub genes (C3, TIMP1, VSIG4, SERPING1, CD163, and HP) were predicted. Predicted miRNAs (hsa-miR-333-5p, hsa-miR-26b-5p, hsa-miR-124-3p, hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-98-5p, hsa-miR-17-5p, hsa-miR-93-5p) and TF (STAT1) might have regulated gene expression in the most positively related module, while hsa-miR-333-5p and HSF-1 were predicted to regulate the genes within the most negatively related module.
Conclusions: Our study illustrates an overview of gene expression changes in human atrial samples from patients undergoing CABG surgery and might help translate future research into clinical work.