Journal Article

Exploring the genomic basis of pharmacoresistance in epilepsy: an integrative analysis of large-scale gene expression profiling studies on brain tissue from epilepsy surgery

Nasir Mirza, Olga Vasieva, Anthony Guy Marson and Munir Pirmohamed

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 20, issue 22, pages 4381-4394
Published in print November 2011 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online August 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddr365
Exploring the genomic basis of pharmacoresistance in epilepsy: an integrative analysis of large-scale gene expression profiling studies on brain tissue from epilepsy surgery

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Some patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy undergo therapeutic resection of the epileptic focus. At least 12 large-scale microarray studies on brain tissue from epilepsy surgery have been published over the last 10 years, but they have failed to make a significant impact upon our understanding of pharmacoresistance, because (1) doubts have been raised about their reproducibility, (2) only a small number of the gene expression changes found in each microarray study have been independently validated and (3) the results of different studies have not been integrated to give a coherent picture of the genetic changes involved in epilepsy pharmacoresistance. To overcome these limitations, we (1) assessed the reproducibility of the microarray studies by calculating the overlap between lists of differentially regulated genes from pairs of microarray studies and determining if this was greater than would be expected by chance alone, (2) used an inter-study cross-validation technique to simultaneously verify the expression changes of large numbers of genes and (3) used the combined results of the different microarray studies to perform an integrative analysis based on enriched gene ontology terms, networks and pathways. Using this approach, we respectively (1) demonstrate that there are statistically significant overlaps between the gene expression changes in different publications, (2) verify the differential expression of 233 genes and (3) identify the biological processes, networks and genes likely to be most important in the development of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Our analysis provides novel biologically plausible candidate genes and pathways which warrant further investigation to assess their causal relevance.

Journal Article.  9264 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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