The Systems Biology of Clinical Organ Transplantation

13:10 Using System Biology Approaches to Demystify Fibrosis
Naftali Kaminski, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, USA

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic progressive lung disease that is often lethal. To better understand the regulatory networks that underlie the lung phenotype in the human disease, we applied system biology approaches to gene expression and microRNA microarray data. This presentation will discuss the insights derived from gene expression microarrays, that include the role for matrix metalloproteases in fibrosis, the centrality of epithelial gene expression to the pathogenesis of the disease, and evidence for activation of developmental pathways in IPF. Evidence derived from microRNA expression arrays will also be presented, demonstrating a central role for microRNAs in determining epithelial cell phenotype in IPF. Our data suggest a pronounced shift in epithelial cell phenotype in IPF and that, in part, this phenotypic shift involves dysregulation of developmental pathways.