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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 895179, 9 pages
Research Article

Systematic Expression Profiling Analysis Identifies Specific MicroRNA-Gene Interactions that May Differentiate between Active and Latent Tuberculosis Infection

1Institute of Medical Sciences, Tzu Chi University, Hualien 97004, Taiwan
2Taoyuan General Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taoyuan 33004, Taiwan
3Department of Life Sciences, National Central University, Taoyuan 32001, Taiwan
4Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan 32003, Taiwan
5Innovation Center for Big Data and Digital Convergence, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan 32003, Taiwan
6Bioinformatics Core Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan

Received 24 March 2014; Accepted 1 July 2014; Published 4 September 2014

Academic Editor: Tzu-Hao Chang

Copyright © 2014 Lawrence Shih-Hsin 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.


Tuberculosis (TB) is the second most common cause of death from infectious diseases. About 90% of those infected are asymptomatic—the so-called latent TB infections (LTBI), with a 10% lifetime chance of progressing to active TB. To further understand the molecular pathogenesis of TB, several molecular studies have attempted to compare the expression profiles between healthy controls and active TB or LTBI patients. However, the results vary due to diverse genetic backgrounds and study designs and the inherent complexity of the disease process. Thus, developing a sensitive and efficient method for the detection of LTBI is both crucial and challenging. For the present study, we performed a systematic analysis of the gene and microRNA profiles of healthy individuals versus those affected with TB or LTBI. Combined with a series of in silico analysis utilizing publicly available microRNA knowledge bases and published literature data, we have uncovered several microRNA-gene interactions that specifically target both the blood and lungs. Some of these molecular interactions are novel and may serve as potential biomarkers of TB and LTBI, facilitating the development for a more sensitive, efficient, and cost-effective diagnostic assay for TB and LTBI for the Taiwanese population.