Novel computational systems biology tools such as common targets analysis, common regulators analysis, pathway discovery, and transcriptomic-based hotspot discovery provide new opportunities in understanding of apoptosis molecular mechanisms. In this study, after measuring the global contribution of microRNAs in the course of apoptosis by Affymetrix platform, systems biology tools were utilized to obtain a comprehensive view on the role of microRNAs in apoptosis process. Network analysis and pathway discovery highlighted the crosstalk between transcription factors and microRNAs in apoptosis. Within the transcription factors, PRDM1 showed the highest upregulation during the course of apoptosis, with more than 9-fold expression increase compared to non-apoptotic condition. Within the microRNAs, MIR1208 showed the highest expression in non-apoptotic condition and downregulated by more than 6 fold during apoptosis. Common regulators algorithm showed that TNF receptor is the key upstream regulator with a high number of regulatory interactions with the differentially expressed microRNAs. BCL2 and AKT1 were the key downstream targets of differentially expressed microRNAs. Enrichment analysis of the genomic locations of differentially expressed microRNAs led us to the discovery of chromosome bands which were highly enriched (p < 0.01) with the apoptosis-related microRNAs, such as 13q31.3, 19p13.13, and Xq27.3 This study opens a new avenue in understanding regulatory mechanisms and downstream functions in the course of apoptosis as well as distinguishing genomic-enriched hotspots for apoptosis process.
- Network analysis
- Transcription factors