Evolutionarily conserved gene expression patterns for affective disorders revealed using cross-species brain transcriptomic analyses in humans, rats and zebrafish

Konstantin A Demin*, Nataliya A Krotova, Nikita P Ilyin, David S Galstyan, Tatyana O Kolesnikova, Tatyana Strekalova, Murilo S de Abreu, Elena V Petersen, Konstantin N Zabegalov, Allan V Kalueff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Widespread, debilitating and often treatment-resistant, depression and other stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders represent an urgent unmet biomedical and societal problem. Although animal models of these disorders are commonly used to study stress pathogenesis, they are often difficult to translate across species into valuable and meaningful clinically relevant data. To address this problem, here we utilized several cross-species/cross-taxon approaches to identify potential evolutionarily conserved differentially expressed genes and their sets. We also assessed enrichment of these genes for transcription factors DNA-binding sites down- and up- stream from their genetic sequences. For this, we compared our own RNA-seq brain transcriptomic data obtained from chronically stressed rats and zebrafish with publicly available human transcriptomic data for patients with major depression and their respective healthy control groups. Utilizing these data from the three species, we next analyzed their differential gene expression, gene set enrichment and protein-protein interaction networks, combined with validated tools for data pooling. This approach allowed us to identify several key brain proteins (GRIA1, DLG1, CDH1, THRB, PLCG2, NGEF, IKZF1 and FEZF2) as promising, evolutionarily conserved and shared affective 'hub' protein targets, as well as to propose a novel gene set that may be used to further study affective pathogenesis. Overall, these approaches may advance cross-species brain transcriptomic analyses, and call for further cross-species studies into putative shared molecular mechanisms of affective pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20836
Number of pages21
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Animals
  • Rats
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Transcriptome
  • Mood Disorders
  • Brain
  • Depressive Disorder, Major

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