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posted on 25.11.2020, 05:05 authored by Weimin Zhong, Fengling Zhang, Chaoqun Huang, Yao Lin, Jiyi Huang

Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), a reversible cellular program, is critically important in tumor progression and is regulated by a family of transcription factors, induction factors, and an array of signaling pathway genes. The prognostic role and biological functions of EMT-related lncRNAs in ccRCC are largely unknown. In the present study, we analyzed the gene expression data and clinical information retrieved from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database (N=512) and International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) database (N=90) which served as training and external validation dataset, respectively. Then, we constructed an EMT-related lncRNA risk signature based on the comprehensive analysis of the EMT-related lncRNA expression data and clinical information. The Kaplan-Meier curve analysis revealed that patients in the low-risk and high-risk groups exhibited significant divergence in the overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of ccRCC, as was confirmed in the validation dataset. The Cox regression analysis of the clinical factors and risk signature in the OS and DFS demonstrated that the risk signature can be utilized as an independent prognostic predictor. Moreover, we developed an individualized prognosis prediction model relying on the nomogram and receive operator curve (ROC) analysis based on the independent factors. The Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) indicated that patients in the low-risk group were associated with adherens junction, focal adhesion, MAPK signaling pathway, pathways in cancer, and renal cell carcinoma pathway. In addition, we identified three robust subtypes (named C1, C2 and C3) of ccRCC with distinct clinical characteristics and prognostic role in the TCGA dataset and ICGC dataset. Among them, C1 was associated with a better survival outcome, whereas C2 and C3 was associated with a worse survival outcome and have more advanced-stage patients. Moreover, C2 was more likely to respond to immunotherapy and was sensitive to chemo drugs, this may provide insights to clinicians to develop an individualized treatment. Collectively, this work developed a reliable EMT-related lncRNA risk signature that can independently predict the OS and DFS of ccRCC. Besides, we identified three stable molecular subtypes based on the EMT-related lncRNA expression, which may comprehensively be vital in elucidating the underlying molecular mechanism of ccRCC.

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