Ung, C.Y., Lam, S.H., Zhang, X., Li, H., Zhang, L., Li, B., and Gong, Z. (2013) Inverted expression profiles of sex-biased genes in response to toxicant perturbations and diseases. PLoS One. 8(2):e56668.
The influence of sex factor is widely recognized in various diseases, but its molecular basis, particularly how sex-biased genes, those with sexually dimorphic expression, behave in response to toxico-pathological changes is poorly understood. In this study, zebrafish toxicogenomic data and transcriptomic data from human pathological studies were analysed for the responses of male- and female-biased genes. Our analyses revealed obvious inverted expression profiles of sex-biased genes, where affected males tended to up-regulate genes of female-biased expression and down-regulate genes of male-biased expression, and vice versa in affected females, in a broad range of toxico-pathological conditions. Intriguingly, the extent of these inverted profiles correlated well to the susceptibility or severity of a given toxico-pathological state, suggesting that inverted expression profiles of sex-biased genes observed in this study can be used as important indicators to assess biological disorders.
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