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Sleep Disorders
Volume 2017, Article ID 6768323, 8 pages
Research Article

Systems Biology Genetic Approach Identifies Serotonin Pathway as a Possible Target for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Results from a Literature Search Review

1Hubert Department of Global Health, Emory Global Diabetes Research Center, Atlanta, GA, USA
2NYU School of Medicine, Department of Population Health, Center for Healthful Behavior Change, New York, NY 10016, USA
3Vantage Research Center, Chennai 600 006, India

Correspondence should be addressed to Ram Jagannathan; ude.yrome@nahtannagaj.mar

Received 30 January 2017; Accepted 14 June 2017; Published 19 September 2017

Academic Editor: Luigi Ferini-Strambi

Copyright © 2017 Ram Jagannathan 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.


Rationale. Overall validity of existing genetic biomarkers in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) remains unclear. The objective of this systematic genetic study is to identify “novel” biomarkers for OSA using systems biology approach. Methods. Candidate genes for OSA were extracted from PubMed, MEDLINE, and Embase search engines and DisGeNET database. The gene ontology (GO) analyses and candidate genes prioritization were performed using Enrichr tool. Genes pertaining to the top 10 pathways were extracted and used for Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Results. In total, we have identified 153 genes. The top 10 pathways associated with OSA include (i) serotonin receptor interaction, (ii) pathways in cancer, (iii) AGE-RAGE signaling in diabetes, (iv) infectious diseases, (v) serotonergic synapse, (vi) inflammatory bowel disease, (vii) HIF-1 signaling pathway, (viii) PI3-AKT signaling pathway, (ix) regulation lipolysis in adipocytes, and (x) rheumatoid arthritis. After removing the overlapping genes, we have identified 23 candidate genes, out of which >30% of the genes were related to the genes involved in the serotonin pathway. Among these 4 serotonin receptors SLC6A4, HTR2C, HTR2A, and HTR1B were strongly associated with OSA. Conclusions. This preliminary report identifies several potential candidate genes associated with OSA and also describes the possible regulatory mechanisms.