Investigation of the Mechanism of Complement System in Diabetic Nephropathy via Bioinformatics Analysis

Bojun Xu, Lei Wang, Huakui Zhan, Liangbin Zhao, Yuehan Wang, Meng Shen, Keyang Xu, Li Li, Xu Luo, Shasha Zhou, Anqi Tang, Gang Liu, Lu Song, Yan Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) throughout the world, and the identification of novel biomarkers via bioinformatics analysis could provide research foundation for future experimental verification and large-group cohort in DN models and patients. Methods. GSE30528, GSE47183, and GSE104948 were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database to find differentially expressed genes (DEGs). The difference of gene expression between normal renal tissues and DN renal tissues was firstly screened by GEO2R. Then, the protein-protein interactions (PPIs) of DEGs were performed by STRING database, the result was integrated and visualized via applying Cytoscape software, and the hub genes in this PPI network were selected by MCODE and topological analysis. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses were carried out to determine the molecular mechanisms of DEGs involved in the progression of DN. Finally, the Nephroseq v5 online platform was used to explore the correlation between hub genes and clinical features of DN. Results. There were 64 DEGs, and 32 hub genes were identified, enriched pathways of hub genes involved in several functions and expression pathways, such as complement binding, extracellular matrix structural constituent, complement cascade related pathways, and ECM proteoglycans. The correlation analysis and subgroup analysis of 7 complement cascade-related hub genes and the clinical characteristics of DN showed that C1QA, C1QB, C3, CFB, ITGB2, VSIG4, and CLU may participate in the development of DN. Conclusions. We confirmed that the complement cascade-related hub genes may be the novel biomarkers for DN early diagnosis and targeted treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5546199
JournalJournal of Diabetes Research
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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