Table_8_The Prognostic Value of PERK in Cancer and Its Relationship With Immune Cell Infiltration.XLSX
Background: Protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) is a type I transmembrane protein that functions as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor to regulate global protein synthesis. Recent research studies suggest that PERK, as an important receptor protein of unfolded protein response, is involved in the pathogenesis of many cancers. This study aimed to investigate PERK expression and its relationship with prognosis in pan-cancer and attempted to explore the relevant mechanism of PERK involved in the regulation of cancer pathogenesis.
Methods: The Oncomine and TIMER databases were used to analyze the expression of PERK between pan-cancer samples and normal samples. Survival analysis was performed using the PrognoScan, Kaplan–Meier (K-M) plotter, and UALCAN databases. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was used to perform the functional enrichment analysis of the PERK gene in breast invasive carcinoma (BRCA), head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSC), and thyroid carcinoma (THCA). The TIMER database was used to investigate the correlation between PERK expression and tumor-infiltrating immune cells and analyze the relationship of PERK with marker genes of immune cells which were downloaded from the CellMarker database in BRCA, HNSC, and THCA.
Results: PERK was differentially expressed in various cancers, such as breast cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, gastric carcinoma, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, leukemia, and head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. The high expression of PERK was associated with a poor prognosis in KIRP, LGG, BRCA, and THCA and with a favorable prognosis in HNSC. The results of GSEA indicated that PERK was mainly enriched in immune-related signaling pathways in BRCA, HNSC, and THCA. Moreover, PERK expression was significant positively correlated with infiltrating levels of macrophages and dendritic cells and was strongly associated with a variety of immune markers, especially macrophage mannose receptor 1 (MRC1, also called CD206) and T-helper cells (Th).
Conclusion: The high expression of PERK could promote the infiltration of multiple immune cells in the tumor microenvironment and could deteriorate the outcomes of patients with breast and thyroid cancers, suggesting that PERK as well as tumor-infiltrating immune cells could be taken as potential biomarkers of prognosis.