Combining multi-dimensional data to identify key genes and pathways in gastric cancer
Gastric cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors worldwide; however, the efficacy of clinical treatment is limited. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that have been reported to play a key role in the development of cancer. They also provide novel candidates for targeted therapy. To date, in-depth studies on the molecular mechanisms of gastric cancer involving miRNAs are still absent. We previously reported that 5 miRNAs were identified as being significantly increased in gastric cancer, and the role of these miRNAs was investigated in the present study. By using bioinformatics tools, we found that more than 4,000 unique genes are potential downstream targets of gastric cancer miRNAs, and these targets belong to the protein class of nucleic acid binding, transcription factor, enzyme modulator, transferase and receptor. Pathway mapping showed that the targets of gastric cancer miRNAs are involved in the MAPK signaling pathway, pathways in cancer, the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, the HTLV-1 signaling pathway and Ras signaling pathway, thus regulating cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis and metastasis. Analysis of the pathways related to miRNAs may provides potential drug targets for future therapy of gastric cancer.