Scientific reports

Novel structural co-expression analysis linking the NPM1-associated ribosomal biogenesis network to chronic myelogenous leukemia.

PMID 26205693


Co-expression analysis reveals useful dysregulation patterns of gene cooperativeness for understanding cancer biology and identifying new targets for treatment. We developed a structural strategy to identify co-expressed gene networks that are important for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). This strategy compared the distributions of expressional correlations between CML and normal states, and it identified a data-driven threshold to classify strongly co-expressed networks that had the best coherence with CML. Using this strategy, we found a transcriptome-wide reduction of co-expression connectivity in CML, reflecting potentially loosened molecular regulation. Conversely, when we focused on nucleophosmin 1 (NPM1) associated networks, NPM1 established more co-expression linkages with BCR-ABL pathways and ribosomal protein networks in CML than normal. This finding implicates a new role of NPM1 in conveying tumorigenic signals from the BCR-ABL oncoprotein to ribosome biogenesis, affecting cellular growth. Transcription factors may be regulators of the differential co-expression patterns between CML and normal.