Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 297, Issue 5, pp 1323–1332 | Cite as

Identification of key genes and pathways in pelvic organ prolapse based on gene expression profiling by bioinformatics analysis

  • Quan Zhou
  • Li Hong
  • Jing Wang



The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and to identify the key genes and pathways for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) using bioinformatics analysis.


The microarray data for GSE53868 included 12 POP and 12 non-POP anterior vaginal wall samples. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified by GEO2R online tool. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analyses were performed using the DAVID database, and a DEG-associated protein–protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed using STRING and visualized in Cytoscape. MCODE was used for module analysis of the PPI network.


A total of 257 upregulated and 333 downregulated genes were identified. GO and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses showed that the upregulated DEGs were strongly associated with immune response, complement activation, classical pathway, phagocytosis, and recognition; the downregulated genes were mainly associated with cellular response to zinc ion, negative regulation of growth, and apoptotic process. Based on the PPI network, IL6, MYC, CCL2, ICAM1, PTGS2, SERPINE1, ATF3, CDKN1A, and CDKN2A were screened as hub genes. The four most significant sub-modules of DEGs were extracted after network module analysis. These genes were mainly associated with the negative regulation of growth and inflammatory response. The KEGG pathway enrichment analysis revealed that these genes were associated with Mineral absorption, Jak-STAT signaling pathway, cytokine–cytokine receptor interaction, and chemokine signaling pathway.


These microarray data and bioinformatics analyses provide a useful method for the identification of key genes and pathways associated with POP. Moreover, some crucial DEGs, such as IL6, MYC, CCL2, ICAM1, PTGS2, SERPINE1, ATF3, CDKN1A, and CDKN2A, potentially play an important role in the development and progression of POP.


Pelvic organ prolapse Gene expression profiling Bioinformatics analysis Differentially expressed genes 


Author contributions

QZ: project development, data collection, manuscript writing, and data analysis. LH: project development, data collection, and manuscript editing. JW: manuscript writing and data analysis.


This study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81401187).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human reporters or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsRenmin Hospital of Wuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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