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Qing Zhang, Jian Zhang, Mengting Gong, Ruolan Pan, Yanchang Liu, Liming Tao, Kan He; Transcriptome Analysis of the Gene Expression Profiles Associated with Fungal Keratitis in Mice Based on RNA-Seq. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(6):32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.6.32.
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Fungal keratitis (FK) is an eye disease that can lead to blindness and has a high incidence worldwide. At present, there is no effective treatment for this disease. There are innate immune response mechanisms that protect against fungal infections. One example is C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), which can identify fungal invaders and trigger signal transduction pathways and cellular responses to eliminate pathogens. However, previous studies have focused mostly on single-receptor factors, and a systematic analysis of the genetic factors underlying the pathogenesis of FK has not been conducted. This study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms of FK in terms of genomics and to further elucidate its pathogenesis.
We performed a transcriptome analysis of a mouse model of FK using RNA sequencing to obtain the relevant gene expression profiles and to identify differentially expressed genes, signaling pathways, and regulatory networks of the key genetic factors in the pathogenesis of murine FK.
Several genes that are significantly associated with FK and serve as markers of FK, such as the inflammatory cytokine genes IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL23, and TNF, were identified. The mRNA and protein expression patterns of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in the corneas of mice with FK were validated by quantitative RT-PCR and Luminex multiplex assay technology. The Wnt, cGMP–PKG, and Hippo signaling pathways were significantly enriched during fungal infection of mouse corneas.
Our study may help to elucidate the mechanisms of FK pathogenesis and to identify additional candidate drug targets for the treatment of FK.
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