Identification of biomarkers and candidate small-molecule drugs in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury by bioinformatics analysis

Main Article Content

Xu Wang
Bin Chen
Chao Chen


acute lung injury, bioinformatics analysis, differentially expressed genes, pyridoxal phosphate, SERPINA3


Background/objective: Acute lung injury (ALI) is a critical clinical syndrome with high rates of incidence and mortality. However, its molecular mechanism remains unclear. The current work aimed to explore the molecular mechanisms of ALI by identifying different expression genes (DEGs) and candidate drugs using a combination of chip analysis and experimental validation.

Methods: Three microarray datasets were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database to obtain DEGs. We conducted a Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway-enrichment analyses of overlapping DEGs among three databases. The expression level of key gene was verified by Western blotting analysis in LPS-treated ALI cell models. Finally, we predicted the candidate drugs targeting the key gene that might be effective for ALI treatment, and the role of candidate drug in treating ALI was verified by investigation.

Results: A total 29 overlapping DEGs were up-regulated in LPS-induced ALI groups. They were enriched in inflammation and inflammation-related pathways. Serpin family A member 3 (SERPINA3) was defined as a key gene because it was associated with inflammation pathway and up-regulated in microarray datasets in LPS-induced ALI. In LPS-induced human bronchial epithelial cells transformed with Ad12-SV40-2B (BEAS-2B) cells, SERPINA3 was enhanced. Pyridoxal phosphate as an upstream drug of SERPINA3 could improve cell viability and reduce expression inflammatory factors in LPS-treated BEAS-2B cells.

Conclusion: Our study suggested that pyridoxal phosphate could be a candidate drug targeting SERPINA3 gene in LPS-induced ALI. It has protective and anti-inflammatory effects in BEAS-2B cells, and may become a potential novel treatment for ALI.

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