Choi H, Koh HWL, Zhou L, Cheng H, Loh TP, Parvaresh Rizi E, Toh SA, Ronnett GV, Huang BE and Khoo CM (2019) Plasma Protein and MicroRNA Biomarkers of Insulin Resistance: A Network-Based Integrative -Omics Analysis. Front. Physiol. 10:379. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00379
Although insulin resistance (IR) is a key pathophysiologic condition underlying various metabolic disorders, impaired cellular glucose uptake is one of many manifestations of metabolic derangements in the human body. To study the systems-wide molecular changes associated with obesity-dependent IR, we integrated information on plasma proteins and microRNAs in eight obese insulin-resistant (OIR, HOMA-IR > 2.5) and nine lean insulin-sensitive (LIS, HOMA-IR < 1.0) normoglycemic males. Of 374 circulating miRNAs we profiled, 65 species increased and 73 species decreased in the OIR compared to the LIS subjects, suggesting that the overall balance of the miRNA secretome is shifted in the OIR subjects. We also observed that 40 plasma proteins increased and 4 plasma proteins decreased in the OIR subjects compared to the LIS subjects, and most proteins are involved in metabolic and endocytic functions. We used an integrative -omics analysis framework called iOmicsPASS to link differentially regulated miRNAs with their target genes on the TargetScan map and the human protein interactome. Combined with tissue of origin information, the integrative analysis allowed us to nominate obesity-dependent and obesity-independent protein markers, along with potential sites of post-transcriptional regulation by some of the miRNAs. We also observed the changes in each -omics platform that are not linked by the TargetScan map, suggesting that proteins and microRNAs provide orthogonal information for the progression of OIR. In summary, our integrative analysis provides a network of elevated plasma markers of OIR and a global shift of microRNA secretome composition in the blood plasma.
Janssen funded the experimental work. This work was also supported in part by grants from Singapore National Medical Research Council (NMRC-CG-M009, to CK and HyC) and Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE2016-T2-1-001, to HyC).