Transcriptome analysis of peripheral whole blood identifies crucial lncRNAs implicated in childhood asthma

Peiyan Zheng, Chen Huang, Dongliang Leng, Baoqing Sun, Xiaohua Douglas Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Asthma is a chronic disorder of both adults and children affecting more than 300 million people heath worldwide. Diagnose and treatment for asthma, particularly in childhood asthma have always remained a great challenge because of its complex pathogenesis and multiple triggers, such as allergen, viral infection, tobacco smoke, dust, etc. It is thereby great significant to deeply investigate the transcriptome changes in asthmatic children before and after desensitization treatment, in order that we could identify potential and key mRNAs and lncRNAs which might be considered as useful RNA molecules for observing and supervising desensitization therapy for asthma, which might guide the diagnose and therapy in childhood asthma. Methods: In the present study, we performed a systematic transcriptome analysis based on the deep RNA sequencing of ten asthmatic children before and after desensitization treatment, including identification of lncRNAs using a stringent filtering pipeline, differential expression analysis and network analysis, etc. Results: First, a large number of lncRNAs were identified and characterized. Then differential expression analysis revealed 39 mRNAs and 15 lncRNAs significantly differentially expressed which involved in two biological processes and pathways. A co-expressed network analysis figured out a desensitization-treatment-related module which contains 27 mRNAs and 21 lncRNAs using WGCNA R package. Module analysis disclosed 17 genes associated to asthma at distinct level. Subsequent network analysis based on PCC figured out several key lncRNAs probably interacted to those key asthma-related genes, i.e., LINC02145, GUSBP2. Our functional investigation indicated that their functions might involve in immune, inflammatory response and apoptosis process. Conclusions: Our study successfully discovered many key noncoding RNA molecules related to pathogenesis of asthma and relevant treatment, which may provide some clues for asthmatic diagnose and therapy in future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136
JournalBMC Medical Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 18 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Childhood asthma
  • Deep RNA-sequencing
  • Long non-coding RNAs
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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