Researchers identify 12 immune-related lncRNAs that may impact endometrial cancer prognosis

According to the new research, several long non-coding RNA signatures related to the immune system, including PCAT19 and SCARNA9, may be associated with prognosis in patients with endometrial cancer.

According to the results of a study published in Journal of Oncology.

lncRNAs, including ELN-AS1, AC103563.7, PCAT19, AF131215.5, LINC01871, AC084117.1, NRAV, SCARNA9, AL049539.1, POC1B-AS1, AC108134.4 and AC019080.5, correlated with factors such as as the patient’s age, disease grade, and International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage. In turn, these factors were significantly associated with patient survival. The model appears to be accurate based on the risk score (area under the curve [AUC], 0.709), age (AUC, 0.614), grade (AUC, 0.652), and stage (AUC, 0.709). Investigators also reported that AC103563.7, AL049539.1, ELN-AS1, NRAV, and POC1B-AS1 were associated with age, disease grade, and FIGO stage; AC108134.4 and PCAT19 were associated with pathological grade and FIGO stage; and AF131215.5 and SCARNA9 were associated with pathological grade.

“By sorting and analyzing transcriptome information from TCGA’s endometrial cancer samples [The Cancer Genome Atlas] database, we identified 12 lncRNAs related to the immune system. These molecules could play an important regulatory role in the occurrence and development of endometrial cancer and represent potential therapeutic targets. However, their specific roles and mechanisms require further experimental validation,” the researchers wrote.

Investigators evaluated 575 endometrial cancer samples for RNA sequencing data. Genes related to the immune system were extracted from the TCGA Gene Set Database Enrichment Analysis (GSEA). The researchers received immune system-related lncRNAs that demonstrated a co-expression relationship with immune system-related genes. From this, a Cox regression analysis was performed to establish a prognostic model. The model was then evaluated against survival, independent prognosis, and clinical correlation analyses. In addition, GSEA software was used to perform functional annotation of the lncRNAs included in the study.

A total of 332 immune-related genes were extracted from GSEA datasets to identify lncRNAs correlated with prognosis. Of these, 137 immune system-related genes and 363 immune system-related lncRNAs demonstrated a co-expression relationship with known immune system-related genes.

The samples were divided into high and low risk scores based on the median risk score. Notably, survival was lower in the high-risk group than in the low-risk group. This was confirmed when examining the risk curves in the two respective groups, with the survival time being significantly shorter in the high-risk cohort compared to the low-risk cohort.

When examining the expression levels of the 12 immune-related lncRNAs across all risk statuses, researchers reported that the expression of AC103563.7, AF131215.5, AC084117.1, and AL049539.1 was more prevalent in those with high-risk disease, and NRAV, ELN-AS1, PCAT19, AC108134.4, LINC01871, and SCARNA9 occurred more in the low-risk population. In the low-expression group, LINC01871, AC108134.4, and POC1B-AS1 were associated with lower overall survival than in the high-expression cohort. Moreover, in the low expression group of AC019080.5, the overall survival was higher than in the high expression cohort (P <.05>


Wang Z, Liu J, Zhao R, et al. A long noncoding RNA signature linked to the immune system as a prognostic biomarker of human endometrial cancer. J.Oncol. Published online December 10, 2021. doi:10.1155/2021/9972454

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