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posted on 14.07.2021, 05:19 by Guodong Liao, Ping Wang, Yuyong Wang
Background

Kidney Renal Clear Cell Carcinoma (KIRC) is one of the most prevalent types of cancer worldwide. KIRC has a poor prognosis and, to date, immunotherapy based on immune checkpoints is the most promising treatment. However, the role of immune checkpoints in KIRC remains ambiguous.

Methods

Bioinformatics analyses and qRT-PCR were performed to explore and further confirm the prognostic value of immune checkpoint genes and their correlation with immune infiltration in KIRC samples.

Results

The expression of the immune checkpoint genes CD274, PDCD1LG2, HAVCR2, CTLA4, TIGFT, LAG3, and PDCD1 was upregulated in KIRC tissues. These genes were involved in the activation of the apoptosis pathway in KIRC. Low expression of CD274 and HAVCR2 and high expression of CTLA4 were associated with poor overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and disease-free survival (DFS) of KIRC patients. The univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that CTLA4, HAVCR2, age, pTNM stage, and tumor grade were independent factors affecting the prognosis of KIRC patients. A predictive nomogram demonstrated that the calibration plots for the 3‐year and 5‐year OS probabilities showed good agreement compared to the actual OS of KIRC patients. The expression of CTLA4 and HAVCR2 were positively associated with immune cell infiltration, immune biomarkers, chemokines, and chemokine receptors. Moreover, miR-20b-5p was identified as a potential miRNA target of CTLA4 in KIRC.

Conclusion

Our study clarified the prognostic value of several immune checkpoint regulators in KIRC, revealing a CTLA4/miR-20b-5p axis in the control of immune cell infiltration in the tumor microenvironment.

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