Meta-Analysis-Assisted Detection of Gravity-Sensitive Genes in Human Vascular Endothelial Cells

Yin Liang, Mengxue Wang, Yun Liu, Chen Wang, Ken Takahashi, Keiji Naruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Gravity affects the function and maintenance of organs, such as bones, muscles, and the heart. Several studies have used DNA microarrays to identify genes with altered expressions in response to gravity. However, it is technically challenging to combine the results from various microarray datasets because of their different data structures. We hypothesized that it is possible to identify common changes in gene expression from the DNA microarray datasets obtained under various conditions and methods. In this study, we grouped homologous genes to perform a meta-analysis of multiple vascular endothelial cell and skeletal muscle datasets. According to the t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) analysis, the changes in the gene expression pattern in vascular endothelial cells formed specific clusters. We also identified candidate genes in endothelial cells that responded to gravity. Further, we exposed human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) to simulated microgravity (SMG) using a clinostat and measured the expression levels of the candidate genes. Gene expression analysis using qRT-PCR revealed that the expression level of the prostaglandin (PG) transporter gene SLCO2A1 decreased in response to microgravity, consistent with the meta-analysis of microarray datasets. Furthermore, the direction of gravity affected the expression level of SLCO2A1, buttressing the finding that its expression was affected by gravity. These results suggest that a meta-analysis of DNA microarray datasets may help identify new target genes previously overlooked in individual microarray analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number689662
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 4 2021


  • DNA microarrays
  • clinostat
  • human umbilical vein endothelial cells
  • meta-analysis
  • microgravity
  • prostaglandin transporter
  • spaceflight-associated neuro-ocular syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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