System-based integrated metabolomics and microRNA analysis identifies potential molecular alterations in human X-linked cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy brain

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Human molecular genetics


X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a severe demyelinating neurodegenerative disease mainly affecting males. The severe cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (cALD) phenotype has a poor prognosis and underlying mechanism of onset and progression of neuropathology remains poorly understood. In this study we aim to integrate metabolomic and microRNA (miRNA) datasets to identify variances associated with cALD. Postmortem brain tissue samples from five healthy controls (CTL) and five cALD patients were utilized in this study. White matter from ALD patients was obtained from normal-appearing areas, away from lesions (NLA) and from the periphery of lesions- plaque shadow (PLS). Metabolomics was performed by gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry and miRNA expression analysis was performed by next generation sequencing (RNAseq). Principal component analysis revealed that among the three sample groups (CTL, NLA and PLS) there were 19 miRNA, including several novel miRNA, of which 17 were increased with disease severity and 2 were decreased. Untargeted metabolomics revealed 13 metabolites with disease severity-related patterns with 7 increased and 6 decreased with disease severity. Ingenuity pathway analysis of differentially altered metabolites and miRNA comparing CTL with NLA and NLA with PLS, identified several hubs of metabolite and signaling molecules and their upstream regulation by miRNA. The transomic approach to map the crosstalk between miRNA and metabolomics suggests involvement of specific molecular and metabolic pathways in cALD and offers opportunity to understand the complex underlying mechanism of disease severity in cALD.

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Male; Humans; Adrenoleukodystrophy; MicroRNAs; Neurodegenerative Diseases; Brain; Phenotype; Metabolomics

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