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posted on 31.05.2021, 14:40 authored by Carolina Mathias, João Carlos Degraf Muzzi, Bruna Borba Antunes, Daniela F. Gradia, Mauro A. A. Castro, Jaqueline Carvalho de Oliveira

Breast cancer (BRCA) is the most leading cause of cancer worldwide. It is a heterogeneous disease with at least five molecular subtypes including luminal A, luminal B, basal-like, HER2-enriched, and normal-like. These five molecular subtypes are usually stratified according to their mRNA profile patterns; however, ncRNAs are increasingly being used for this purpose. Among the ncRNAs class, the long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are molecules with more than 200 nucleotides with versatile regulatory roles; and high tissue-specific expression profiles. The heterogeneity of BRCA can also be reflected regarding tumor microenvironment immune cells composition, which can directly impact a patient’s prognosis and therapy response. Using BRCA immunogenomics data from a previous study, we propose here a bioinformatics approach to include lncRNAs complexity in BRCA molecular and immune subtype. RNA-seq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) BRCA cohort was analyzed, and signal-to-noise ratio metrics were applied to create these subtype-specific signatures. Five immune-related signatures were generated with approximately ten specific lncRNAs, which were then functionally analyzed using GSEA enrichment and survival analysis. We highlighted here some lncRNAs in each subtype. LINC01871 is related to immune response activation and favorable overall survival in basal-like samples; EBLN3P is related to immune response suppression and progression in luminal B, MEG3, XXYLT1-AS2, and LINC02613 were related with immune response activation in luminal A, HER2-enriched and normal-like subtypes, respectively. In this way, we emphasize the need to know better the role of lncRNAs as regulators of immune response to provide new perspectives regarding diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutical targets in BRCA molecular subtypes.

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