DataSheet1_Pyroptosis-Related Risk Signature Exhibits Distinct Prognostic, Immune, and Therapeutic Landscapes in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.ZIP (1008.86 kB)
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DataSheet1_Pyroptosis-Related Risk Signature Exhibits Distinct Prognostic, Immune, and Therapeutic Landscapes in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.ZIP

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posted on 09.03.2022, 04:44 authored by Yidi Zhao, Qingya Song, Fangshi Xu, Yang Zhou, Xiaoli Zuo, Zhengliang Zhang

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common abdominal cancer. The existing therapeutic approaches often fail to achieve satisfactory results. Pyroptosis, an inflammatory form of programmed cell death, provides new ideas for anticancer treatment. However, the roles of pyroptosis-related (PR) genes (PRGs) in HCC remain elusive.

Methods: Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (n = 22) were screened out using TCGA and GTEx databases. A novel PR risk signature was constructed through Lasso regression analysis. Its prognostic value was evaluated through a series of survival analyses and was tested in ICGC and GSE14520 cohorts. CIBERSORT, ssGSEA, and ESTIMATE methods were employed to determine the effects of the PR risk score on the tumor immune microenvironment (TIM). The TIDE scoring system, IMvigor210 cohort, GSE109211 dataset, and GSDC database were applied to explore the associations of the PR risk score with therapeutic effects. The biofunctions of WNK1 in hepatocellular cancer (HC) cells were confirmed through qPCR, colony formation, and Transwell assays.

Results: Overall, 22 of 45 PRGs (48.9%) were abnormally expressed in HCC samples. Then, a PR risk signature consisting of eight PRGs was constructed. A high PR risk score led to an unfavorable prognosis. The PR risk score was identified as an independent prognostic factor of HCC and could increase the decision-making benefit of the traditional TNM model. In addition, we established a nomogram containing the clinical stage and PR risk score to predict the survival rates of HCC patients. The prognostic value of the PR model was successfully validated in ICGC and GSE14520 cohorts. Moreover, high PR risk conferred the decreased infiltration level of CD8+ T cells and weakened the activities of “cytolytic activity” pathways. As for therapeutic correlation, a high PR risk score seemed to imply a poor efficacy of PD-1/L1 inhibitors and sorafenib. Finally, the overexpression of WNK1 could promote the proliferation, migration, and invasion of HC cells.

Conclusions: The PR risk score was closely related to the prognosis, antitumor immune process, therapeutic outcomes, and malignant progression of HCC. WNK1, the core regulator of pyroptosis, possesses pro-oncogenic abilities, showing promise as a novel treatment target.

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