Research Summary: Cross-Study Homogeneity of Psoriasis Gene Expression in Skin across a Large Expression Range



In psoriasis, only limited overlap between sets of genes identified as differentially expressed (psoriatic lesional vs. psoriatic non-lesional) was found using statistical and fold-change cut-offs. To provide a framework for utilizing prior psoriasis data sets we sought to understand the consistency of those sets.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Microarray expression profiling and qRT-PCR were used to characterize gene expression in PP and PN skin from psoriasis patients. cDNA (three new data sets) and cRNA hybridization (four existing data sets) data were compared using a common analysis pipeline. Agreement between data sets was assessed using varying qualitative and quantitative cut-offs to generate a DEG list in a source data set and then using other data sets to validate the list. Concordance increased from 67% across all probe sets to over 99% across more than 10,000 probe sets when statistical filters were employed. The fold-change behavior of individual genes tended to be consistent across the multiple data sets. We found that genes with <2-fold change values were quantitatively reproducible between pairs of data-sets. In a subset of transcripts with a role in inflammation changes detected by microarray were confirmed by qRT-PCR with high concordance. For transcripts with both PN and PP levels within the microarray dynamic range, microarray and qRT-PCR were quantitatively reproducible, including minimal fold-changes in IL13, TNFSF11, and TNFRSF11B and genes with >10-fold changes in either direction such as CHRM3, IL12B and IFNG.


Gene expression changes in psoriatic lesions were consistent across different studies, despite differences in patient selection, sample handling, and microarray platforms but between-study comparisons showed stronger agreement within than between platforms. We could use cut-offs as low as log10(ratio) = 0.1 (fold-change = 1.26), generating larger gene lists that validate on independent data sets. The reproducibility of PP signatures across data sets suggests that different sample sets can be productively compared.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 4-January-2013

Author(s): Bigler J., Rand H., Kerkof K., Timour M., Russell C.


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