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posted on 2021-09-13, 04:13 authored by Peilin Cong, Tingmei Wu, Xinwei Huang, Huazheng Liang, Xiaofei Gao, Li Tian, Wanrong Li, Aiwen Chen, Hanxi Wan, Mengfan He, Danqing Dai, Zhen Li, Lize Xiong

m6A RNA methylation regulators can regulate the growth, progression, and invasion of glioma cells by regulating their target genes, which provides a reliable support for the m6A regulator–target axes as the novel therapeutic targets and clinical prognostic signature in glioma. This study aimed to explore the role and prognostic value of m6A RNA methylation regulators and their targets. Expression profiles and clinicopathological data were obtained from the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA), The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), and Clinical Proteome Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) datasets. Differential expression and correlation analyses were performed between normal and glioma tissues at mRNA and protein levels. Univariate Cox regression, survival, and Lasso Cox regression analyses were conducted to identify and establish the prognostic gene signature. Kaplan–Meier curve, multivariate Cox regression analysis, and ROC were utilized to evaluate the prognostic capacity of the prognostic gene signature. The correlation analysis, systematic bioinformatics analysis, and cell experiment were performed to further understand the potential underlying molecular mechanisms and drug sensitivity. Our results suggested that IGF2BP2, KIAA1429, METTL16, and METTL3, as well as 208 targets are involved in the occurrence of glioma, GBM, and LGG. YTHDF1 and 78 targets involved the occurrence of glioma and GBM, not LGG, among which 181 genes were associated with overall survival. From other findings and our cell experiment results, we demonstrated that METTL3 can activate Notch pathway and facilitate glioma occurrence through regulating its direct targets NOTCH3, DLL3, and HES1, and Notch pathway genes may serve as the potential treatment targets for glioma. Our study established and validated a seven-gene signature comprising METTL3, COL18A1, NASP, PHLPP2, TIMP1, U2AF2, and VEGFA, with a good capability for predicting glioma survival, which may guide therapeutic customization and clinical decision-making. These genes were identified to influence 81 anticancer drug responses, which further contributes to the early phase clinical trials of drug development.