The following is a summary of “Identification of the potential association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and acute kidney injury based on the shared gene signatures and regulatory network,” published in the October 2023 issue of Infectious Disease by Zhou et al.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, induced by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, may result in acute kidney injury (AKI). This severe complication can cause renal failure and increase the risk of death.
Researchers started a retrospective study to identify shared gene signatures and construct the gene regulatory network between COVID-19 and AKI, shedding light on the potential pathogenesis.
They utilized machine learning to derive candidate gene signatures from the common differentially expressed genes (DEGs) obtained from COVID-19 and AKI. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC), consensus clustering, and functional enrichment analyses were performed. Construction of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, transcription factor (TF)-gene interaction, gene-miRNA interaction, and TF-miRNA coregulatory network was systematically undertaken.
The results showed the identification of 6 candidate gene signatures (RRM2, EGF, TMEM252, RARRES1, COL6A3, CUBN) familiar to both COVID-19 and AKI. ROC analysis indicated that the model built using these 6 gene signatures exhibited a high predictive efficacy in COVID-19 (AUC = 96.5%) and AKI (AUC = 96.2%) cohorts, suggesting their potential as shared diagnostic biomarkers for COVID-19 and AKI. Comprehensive gene regulatory networks were displayed, including PPI, TF-gene interaction, gene-miRNA interaction, and TF-miRNA coregulatory networks, using the NetworkAnalyst platform.
Investigators concluded that shared gene signatures and gene regulatory networks between COVID-19 and AKI may predict prognosis and inform therapeutic development.