Immune system and zinc are associated with recurrent aphthous stomatitis


Objective: The aim of this research was to identify genes, proteins and processes from the biomedical information published on recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) using network-based foci.
Methods: The clinical context was defined using MeSH terms for RAS and biomarkers, combined with words associated with risk. A set of protein coding genes was prioritized using the Génie web server and classified with PANTHER. For defining biologically relevant proteins, protein-protein interaction networks were constructed using Reactome database and Cytoscape. Top 20 proteins were then subjected to functional enrichment using STRING.
Results: From 1,075,576 gene-abstract links, 1,491 genes were prioritized. Proteins were related to signaling molecule proteins (n=221), receptor proteins (n=221) and nucleic acid binding proteins (n=169). The network constructed with these proteins included 3,963 nodes and functional analysis showed that main processes involved immune system and zinc ion binding function.
Conclusions: For the first time, bioinformatics tools were used for integrating pathways and networks associated with RAS. Molecules and processes associated with immune system recur robustly in all analyzed information. The molecular zinc ion binding function could be an area for exploring more specific and effective therapeutic interventions.


Recurrent aphthous stomatitis, pathogenesis, protein interaction maps, immune system, zinc.

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The initial step consisted of prioritization of genes in the tool Génie, using as training set a MEDLINE/PubMed query with clinical emphasis. For classifcation, genes were introduced into the PANTHER classifcation system. Subsequently a contextual analysis (giving equal importance to each protein) was conducted using Cytoscape, their CHAT application and Reactome database. Major centers of activity were then analyzed in STRING database, in order to obtain a limited list of identifcations and the main functional networks.


Rivera C. Immune system and zinc are associated with  recurrent aphthous stomatitis. An assessment using a network-based approach. Journal of Oral Research. 2017;6(9):245-251. doi: 10.17126/joralres.2017.069 [Source]
Immune system and zinc are associated with recurrent aphthous stomatitis
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