Screening of hub genes and prediction of putative drugs in arsenic-related bladder carcinoma: An in silico study

Bladder Cancer

Zhang L, et al. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2020.


BACKGROUND: Evidence showed that inorganic arsenic (iAs) can trigger malignant transformation in cells with complex mechanisms. Thus, we aimed to investigate the possible molecules, pathways and therapeutic drugs for iAs-induced bladder cancer (BC) by using bioinformatics approaches.

METHODS: Microarray-based data were analyzed to screen the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between iAs-related BC cells and controls. Then, the roles of DEGs were annotated and the hub genes were screened out by protein-protein interaction network. The key genes were further selected from the hub genes through an assessment of the prognostic values. Afterward, potential drugs were predicted by using CMAP analysis.

RESULTS: Analysis of a dataset (GSE90023) generated 21 upregulated and 47 downregulated DEGs, which were enriched in various signaling pathways. Among the DEGs, four hub genes including WNT7B, SFRP1, DNAJB2, and ATF3, were identified as the key genes because they might predict poor prognosis in BC patients. Lastly, Cantharidin was predicted to be a potential drug reversing iAs-induced malignant transformation in urinary epithelium cells.

CONCLUSION: The present study found several hub genes involved in iAs-induced malignant transformation in urinary epithelium cells, and predicted several small agents for iAs toxicity prevention or therapy.