Molecular medicine reports

Suppression subtractive hybridization reveals differentially expressed genes in supraspinous ligaments of patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

PMID 25632965


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a severe chronic inflammatory disease that may ultimately result in the development of a 'bamboo‑like' spine. Although the pathological changes that occur in AS have been extensively investigated, the mechanism underlying spinal fusion during AS remains elusive. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in paraspinal tissues from patients with AS compared with those from healthy controls were therefore investigated. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)‑based suppression subtractive hybridization was performed using total mRNA from the supraspinal ligaments of three patients with AS and three patients with spinal fractures as controls. From this, 27 genes were identified in all of the three independent forward libraries, which were defined as DEGs associated with AS. Reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR demonstrated that six DEGs were overexpressed in the tissues from patients with AS compared with those from individuals in the control group, including those encoding transforming growth factor β types I and III receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase‑3, core‑binding factor α1 and bone morphogenetic protein 2. Western blot analysis showed increased expression in all six of these proteins in the samples from patients with AS compared with those in the control groups. These findings suggested that changes in the expression of these genes and proteins are associated with the development of spinal fusion during the pathogenesis of AS. Furthermore, these genes may be novel markers of the risk of developing AS, in addition to being targets for the treatment of this disease.