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Mining literature for a comprehensive pathway analysis: A case study for retrieval of homocysteine related genes for genetic and epigenetic studies

Author(s): Sharma Priyanka | Senthilkumar RD | Brahmachari Vani | Sundaramoorthy Elayanambi | Mahajan Anubha | Sharma Amitabh | Sengupta Shantanu

Journal: Lipids in Health and Disease
ISSN 1476-511X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Abstract Homocysteine is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. It is also known to be associated with a variety of complex disorders. While there are a large number of independent studies implicating homocysteine in isolated pathways, the mechanism of homocysteine induced adverse effects are not clear. Homocysteine-induced modulation of gene expression through alteration of methylation status or by hitherto unknown mechanisms is predicted to lead to several pathological conditions either directly or indirectly. In the present manuscript, using literature mining approach, we have identified the genes that are modulated directly or indirectly by an elevated level of homocysteine. These genes were then placed in appropriate pathways in an attempt to understand the molecular basis of homocysteine induced complex disorders and to provide a resource for selection of genes for polymorphism screening and analysis of mutations as well as epigenetic modifications in relation to hyperhomocysteinemia. We have identified 135 genes in 1137 abstracts that either modulate the levels of homocysteine or are modulated by elevated levels of homocysteine. Mapping the genes to their respective pathways revealed that an elevated level of homocysteine leads to the atherosclerosis either by directly affecting lipid metabolism and transport or via oxidative stress and/or Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress. Elevated levels of homocysteine also decreases the bioavailability of nitric oxide and modulates the levels of other metabolites including S-adenosyl methionine and S-adenosyl homocysteine which may result in cardiovascular or neurological disorders. The ER stress emerges as the common pathway that relates to apoptosis, atherosclerosis and neurological disorders and is modulated by levels of homocysteine. The comprehensive network collated has lead to the identification of genes that are modulated by homocysteine indicating that homocysteine exerts its effect not only through modulating the substrate levels for various catalytic processes but also through regulation of expression of genes involved in complex diseases.
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