Dynamical network analysis reveals key microRNAs in progressive stages of lung cancer

Chao Kong, Yu Xiang Yao, Zhi Tong Bing, Bing Hui Guo, Liang Huang, Zi Gang Huang, Ying Cheng Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Non-coding RNAs are fundamental to the competing endogenous RNA (CeRNA) hypothesis in oncology. Previous work focused on static CeRNA networks. We construct and analyze CeRNA networks for four sequential stages of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) based on multi-omics data of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), microRNAs and mRNAs. We find that the networks possess a two-level bipartite structure: common competing endogenous network (CCEN) composed of an invariant set of microRNAs over all the stages and stage-dependent, unique competing endogenous networks (UCENs). A systematic enrichment analysis of the pathways of the mRNAs in CCEN reveals that they are strongly associated with cancer development. We also find that the microRNA-linked mRNAs from UCENs have a higher enrichment efficiency. A key finding is six microRNAs from CCEN that impact patient survival at all stages, and four microRNAs that affect the survival from a specific stage. The ten microRNAs can then serve as potential biomarkers and prognostic tools for LUAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1007793
JournalPLoS computational biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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