Glaucoma is a chronic progressive disease. It involves more than 60 million people worldwide. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is one of its commonest forms. About 2.71 million people in the United States suffered from POAG in 2011. Currently, POAG is a major cause of irreversible vision loss. The risk of blindness in patients with treated open-angle glaucoma is 27%. It is known that the death of optic nerve cells can be triggered by mechanical stress caused by ocular hypertension, which induces neuronal apoptosis and occurs in patients with POAG. Many scientific publications are dedicated to proteins and genes involved in the development of POAG, including neuronal apoptosis and the cell response to mechanical stress (CRMS). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of POAG are still poorly understood. The reconstruction of associative networks describing the functional interactions between these genes/proteins, including biochemical reactions, regulatory interactions, and transport, requires automated knowledge extraction from scientific publications. This work aims to analyze the associative networks describing molecular interactions between proteins and genes involved in CRMS, neuronal apoptosis, and the development of POAG. It has been shown that genes associated with POAG are statistically significantly overrepresented among the genes involved in the interactions between CRMS and neuronal apoptosis in comparison to what is expected on a random basis. This finding may explain how POAG causes the death of the retinal ganglion cell.
- associative gene networks
- cell response to mechanical stress
- neuronal apoptosis
- primary open-angle glaucoma