The team, made up of researchers from the Institute of Systems Biology in Seattle and the Battelle Memorial Institute, have developed a technique that uses a systems biology approach together with information from global data sets to identify perturbed gene networks that are associated with chronic lung disease.
The method used lung tissue samples from patients with different types of ILD, obtained from the Lung Tissue Research Consortium. Total cell RNA was isolated and global mRNA and microRNA were profiled and the differential expression changes verified by hybridization and amplification-based methods. Differentially expressed genes were compiled and used to identify critical signaling pathways and potential biomarkers. Certain modules of genes were identified that formed a regulatory network and studies were performed on cultured cells in vitro for comparison with the in vivo results.
The paper, entitled 'Systems biology of interstitial lung diseases: integration of mRNA and microRNA expression changes' is available online through BioMed Central Medical Genomics