Gene network inference from single-cell omics data and domain knowledge for constructing COVID-19-specific ICAM1-associated pathways

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Publications

Front Genet. 2023 Aug 31;14:1250545. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2023.1250545. eCollection 2023.


Introduction: Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) is a critical molecule responsible for interactions between cells. Previous studies have suggested that ICAM-1 triggers cell-to-cell transmission of HIV-1 or HTLV-1, that SARS-CoV-2 shares several features with these viruses via interactions between cells, and that SARS-CoV-2 cell-to-cell transmission is associated with COVID-19 severity. From these previous arguments, it is assumed that ICAM-1 can be related to SARS-CoV-2 cell-to-cell transmission in COVID-19 patients. Indeed, the time-dependent change of the ICAM-1 expression level has been detected in COVID-19 patients. However, signaling pathways that consist of ICAM-1 and other molecules interacting with ICAM-1 are not identified in COVID-19. For example, the current COVID-19 Disease Map has no entry for those pathways. Therefore, discovering unknown ICAM1-associated pathways will be indispensable for clarifying the mechanism of COVID-19. Materials and methods: This study builds ICAM1-associated pathways by gene network inference from single-cell omics data and multiple knowledge bases. First, single-cell omics data analysis extracts coexpressed genes with significant differences in expression levels with spurious correlations removed. Second, knowledge bases validate the models. Finally, mapping the models onto existing pathways identifies new ICAM1-associated pathways. Results: Comparison of the obtained pathways between different cell types and time points reproduces the known pathways and indicates the following two unknown pathways: (1) upstream pathway that includes proteins in the non-canonical NF-κB pathway and (2) downstream pathway that contains integrins and cytoskeleton or motor proteins for cell transformation. Discussion: In this way, data-driven and knowledge-based approaches are integrated into gene network inference for ICAM1-associated pathway construction. The results can contribute to repairing and completing the COVID-19 Disease Map, thereby improving our understanding of the mechanism of COVID-19.

PMID:37719701 | PMC:PMC10501835 | DOI:10.3389/fgene.2023.1250545

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