Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease characterized by severe lung fibrosis and a poor prognosis. Although the biomolecules related to IPF have been extensively studied, molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis and their association with serum biomarkers and clinical findings have not been fully elucidated. Researchers at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine constructed a Bayesian network using multimodal data consisting of a proteome dataset from serum extracellular vesicles, laboratory examinations, and clinical findings from 206 patients with IPF and 36 controls. Differential protein expression analysis was also performed by edgeR and incorporated into the constructed network. The researchers have successfully visualized the relationship between biomolecules and clinical findings with this approach. The IPF-specific network included modules associated with TGF-β signaling (TGFB1 and LRC32), fibrosis-related (A2MG and PZP), myofibroblast and inflammation (LRP1 and ITIH4), complement-related (SAA1 and SAA2), as well as serum markers, and clinical symptoms (KL-6, SP-D and fine crackles). Notably, it identified SAA2 associated with lymphocyte counts and PSPB connected with the serum markers KL-6 and SP-D, along with fine crackles as clinical manifestations. These results contribute to the elucidation of the pathogenesis of IPF and potential therapeutic targets.
Schematic overview for IPF network analysis
The researchers analyzed multimodal data consisting of proteome data, laboratory data and clinical characteristics by (1) Bayesian network analysis. In addition, (2) differential protein expression analysis was performed by edgeR and incorporated into the network analysis. Difference between usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) and probable UIP (pro-UIP) was analyzed by (3) principal component analysis (PCA).