Ulcerative colitis is the most prevailing entity of several disorders under the umbrella term inflammatory bowel disease, with potentially serious symptoms and devastating consequences for affected patients. The exact molecular etiology of ulcerative colitis is not yet revealed. In this study, we characterized the molecular phenotype of ulcerative colitis through transcriptomic and metabonomic profiling of colonic mucosal biopsies from patients and controls. We have characterized the extent to which metabonomic and transcriptomic molecular phenotypes are associated with ulcerative colitis versus controls and other disease-related phenotypes such as steroid dependency and age at diagnosis, to determine if there is evidence of enrichment of differential expression in candidate genes from genome-wide association studies and if there are particular pathways influenced by disease-associated genes. Both transcriptomic and metabonomic data have previously been shown to predict the clinical course of ulcerative colitis and related clinical phenotypes, indicating that molecular phenotypes reveal molecular changes associated with the disease. Our analyses indicate that variables of both transcriptomics and metabonomics are associated with disease case and control status, that a large proportion of transcripts are associated with at least one metabolite in mucosal colonic biopsies, and that multiple pathways are connected to disease-related metabolites and transcripts.
Journal of Proteome Research, 2015, Vol 14, Issue 1, p. 479-90