Image1_Ferroptosis Regulator Modification Patterns and Tumor Microenvironment Immune Infiltration Characterization in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.TIF (366.23 kB)
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posted on 28.01.2022, 09:24 by Dong-Li Liu, Ming-Yao Wu, Tie-Ning Zhang, Chun-Gang Wang

Accumulating studies have highlighted the biologic significances of ferroptosis modification in tumor progression, but little is known whether ferroptosis modification patterns have potential roles in tumor microenvironment (TME) immune cell infiltration of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we evaluated 51 ferroptosis regulators and performed consensus clustering algorithm to determine ferroptosis modification patterns and the ferroptosis related gene signature in HCC. Gene set variation analysis (GSVA) was employed to explore biological molecular variations in distinct ferroptosis modification patterns. Single sample gene set enrichment analysis (ssGSEA) algorithm was performed to quantify the relative infiltration levels of various immune cell subsets. Principal component analysis (PCA) algorithm was used to construct the ferroptosisSig score to quantify ferroptosis modification patterns of individual tumors with immune responses. Three distinct ferroptosis modification patterns were identified. GSVA enrichment analysis indicated that three ferroptosis modification subgroups were enriched in different metabolic pathways. ssGSEA analysis determined that 19 of 24 immune infiltrating cells had significant differences in three distinct ferroptosis patterns. A 91-ferroptosis gene signature was constructed to stratify patients into two ferroptosisSig score groups. Patients in the higher ferroptosisSig score were characterized by significantly prolonged survival time compared with patients in the lower ferroptosisSig score group (p < .0001). An immunotherapy cohort confirmed patients with higher ferroptosisSig score determined significant therapeutic advantages and clinical benefits. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis confirmed the predictive capacity of anti-PD/L1 immunotherapy by ferroptosisSig score. Our study indicated the ferroptosis modification played a significant role in TME heterogeneity and complexity. Evaluating the ferroptosis modification pattern of individual tumor could strengthen our cognition of TME infiltration characteristics and guide more effective clinic immunotherapy strategies.

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