Image1_The Role of m6A RNA Methylation-Related lncRNAs in the Prognosis and Tumor Immune Microenvironment of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.PNG
Emerging evidence has indicated that N6-methylandenosine (m6A) RNA methylation plays a critical role in cancer development. However, the function of m6A RNA methylation-related long noncoding RNAs (m6A-lncRNAs) in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) has never been reported. This study aimed to investigate the role of m6A-lncRNAs in the prognosis and tumor microenvironment (TME) of PTC. Three subgroups (clusters 1, 2, and 3) were identified by consensus clustering of 19 prognosis-related m6A-lncRNA regulators, of which cluster 1 is preferentially related to unfavorable prognosis, lower immune scores, and distinct immune infiltrate level. A risk-score model was established based on 8 prognosis-related m6A-lncRNAs. Patients with a high-risk score showed a worse prognosis, and the ROC indicated a reliable prediction performance for patients with PTC (AUC = 0.802). As expected, the immune scores, the infiltration levels of immune cells, and ESTIMATE scores in the low-risk subgroups were notably higher (p < 0.001) when compared with those in high-risk subgroups. Furthermore, GSEA analysis revealed that tumor associated pathways, hallmarks, and biological processes were remarkably enriched in the high-risk subgroup. Further analysis indicated that the risk score and age were independent prognostic factors for PTC. An integrated nomogram was constructed that accurately predicted the survival status (AUC = 0.963). Moreover, a lncRNA–miRNA–mRNA regulated network was established based on seven prognosis-related m6A-lncRNAs. In addition, 30 clinical samples and different PTC cells were validated. This is the first study to reveal that m6A-lncRNAs plays a vital role in the prognosis and TME of PTC. To a certain degree, m6A-lncRNAs can be considered as new, promising prognostic biomarkers and treatment targets.