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This article is part of the supplement: Twelfth International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB2013): Computational Biology

Open Access Research

Analysis of schizophrenia and hepatocellular carcinoma genetic network with corresponding modularity and pathways: novel insights to the immune system

Kuo-Chuan Huang12, Ko-Chun Yang3, Han Lin3, Theresa Tsao Tsun-Hui13, Wen-Kuei Lee2, Sheng-An Lee4* and Cheng-Yan Kao13*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

2 Department of Psychiatry, Beitou Branch, Tri-Service General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan

3 Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

4 Department of Information Management, Kainan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14(Suppl 5):S10  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-S5-S10

Published: 16 October 2013

Abstract

Background

Schizophrenic patients show lower incidences of cancer, implicating schizophrenia may be a protective factor against cancer. To study the genetic correlation between the two diseases, a specific PPI network was constructed with candidate genes of both schizophrenia and hepatocellular carcinoma. The network, designated schizophrenia-hepatocellular carcinoma network (SHCN), was analysed and cliques were identified as potential functional modules or complexes. The findings were compared with information from pathway databases such as KEGG, Reactome, PID and ConsensusPathDB.

Results

The functions of mediator genes from SHCN show immune system and cell cycle regulation have important roles in the eitology mechanism of schizophrenia. For example, the over-expressing schizophrenia candidate genes, SIRPB1, SYK and LCK, are responsible for signal transduction in cytokine production; immune responses involving IL-2 and TREM-1/DAP12 pathways are relevant for the etiology mechanism of schizophrenia. Novel treatments were proposed by searching the target genes of FDA approved drugs with genes in potential protein complexes and pathways. It was found that Vitamin A, retinoid acid and a few other immune response agents modulated by RARA and LCK genes may be potential treatments for both schizophrenia and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Conclusions

This is the first study showing specific mediator genes in the SHCN which may suppress tumors. We also show that the schizophrenic protein interactions and modulation with cancer implicates the importance of immune system for etiology of schizophrenia.