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Qiaowei Fan, Bingrong Liu
(Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:5163-5172
Accumulating evidence suggests the involvement of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as oncogenic or tumor suppressive regulators in the development of various cancers. In the present study, we aimed to identify a lncRNA signature based on RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) data to predict survival in esophageal cancer.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The RNA-seq lncRNA expression data and clinical information were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Differentially expressed lncRNAs were screened out between esophageal cancer and normal tissues. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis were performed to establish a lncRNA-related prognostic model. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was conducted to test the sensitivity and specificity of the model. GO (gene ontology) functional and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses were performed for mRNAs co-expressed with the lncRNAs to explore the potential functions of the prognostic lncRNAs.
RESULTS: A total of 265 differentially expressed lncRNAs were identified between esophageal cancer and normal tissues. After univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis, eight lncRNAs (GS1-600G8.5, LINC00365, CTD-2357A8.3, RP11-705O24.1, LINC01554, RP1-90J4.1, RP11-327J17.1, and LINC00176) were finally screened out to establish a predictive model by which patients could be classified into high-risk and low-risk groups with significantly different overall survival. Further analysis indicated independent prognostic capability of the 8-lncRNA signature from other clinicopathological factors. ROC curve analysis demonstrated good performance of the 8-lncRNA signature. Functional enrichment analysis showed that the prognostic lncRNAs were mainly associated with esophageal cancer related biological processes such as regulation of glucose metabolic process and amino acid and lipids metabolism.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study developed a novel candidate model providing additional and more powerful prognostic information beyond conventional clinicopathological factors for survival prediction of esophageal cancer patients. Moreover, it also brings us new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying esophageal cancer.