Accumulating evidence suggests the critical role of autophagy in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy (DR). In the current study, we aim to identify autophagy genes involved in DR via microarray analyses.
Gene microarrays were performed to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs/mRNAs between normal and DR retinas. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses of lncRNA-coexpressed mRNAs were used to determine the related pathological pathways and biological modules. Real-time polymerase chain reactions (PCR) were conducted to validate the microarray analyses.
A total of 2474 significantly dysregulated lncRNAs and 959 differentially expressed mRNAs were identified in the retina of DR. Based upon Signalnet analysis, Bcl2, Gabarapl2, Atg4c, and Atg16L1 participated the process of cell death in DR. Moreover, real-time PCR revealed significant upregulation of Atg16L1.
This study indicated the importance and potential role of Atg16L1, one of the autophagy genes, as a biomarker in DR development and progression.

Copyright © 2021 Xinxiao Gao et al.