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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 651954, 10 pages
Research Article

PPI Network Analysis of mRNA Expression Profile of Ezrin Knockdown in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou 515041, China
2Department of Pathology, Shantou Central Hospital, Shantou 515041, China
3Institute of Oncologic Pathology, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou 515041, China

Received 3 April 2014; Revised 13 June 2014; Accepted 17 June 2014; Published 14 July 2014

Academic Editor: X. Li

Copyright © 2014 Bingli Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ezrin, coding protein EZR which cross-links actin filaments, overexpresses and involves invasion, metastasis, and poor prognosis in various cancers including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). In our previous study, Ezrin was knock down and analyzed by mRNA expression profile which has not been fully mined. In this study, we applied protein-protein interactions (PPI) network knowledge and methods to explore our understanding of these differentially expressed genes (DEGs). PPI subnetworks showed that hundreds of DEGs interact with thousands of other proteins. Subcellular localization analyses found that the DEGs and their directly or indirectly interacting proteins distribute in multiple layers, which was applied to analyze the shortest paths between EZR and other DEGs. Gene ontology annotation generated a functional annotation map and found hundreds of significant terms, especially those associated with cytoskeleton organization of Ezrin protein, such as “cytoskeleton organization,” “regulation of actin filament-based process,” and “regulation of actin cytoskeleton organization.” The algorithm of Random Walk with Restart was applied to prioritize the DEGs and identified several cancer related DEGs ranked closest to EZR. These analyses based on PPI network have greatly expanded our comprehension of the mRNA expression profile of Ezrin knockdown for future examination of the roles and mechanisms of Ezrin.