Image_7_Prognostic Value of a Stemness Index-Associated Signature in Primary Lower-Grade Glioma.PDF


As a prevalent and infiltrative cancer type of the central nervous system, the prognosis of lower-grade glioma (LGG) in adults is highly heterogeneous. Recent evidence has demonstrated the prognostic value of the mRNA expression-based stemness index (mRNAsi) in LGG. Our aim was to develop a stemness index-based signature (SI-signature) for risk stratification and survival prediction.


Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between LGG in the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and normal brain tissue samples from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project were screened out, and the weighted gene correlation network analysis (WGCNA) was employed to identify the mRNAsi-related gene sets. Meanwhile, the Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analyses were performed for the functional annotation of the key genes. ESTIMATE was used to calculate tumor purity for acquiring the correct mRNAsi. Differences in overall survival (OS) between the high and low mRNAsi (corrected mRNAsi) groups were compared using the Kaplan Meier analysis. By combining the Lasso regression with univariate and multivariate Cox regression, the SI-signature was constructed and validated using the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA).


There was a significant difference in OS between the high and low mRNAsi groups, which was also observed in the two corrected mRNAsi groups. Based on threshold limits, 86 DEGs were most significantly associated with mRNAsi via WGCNA. Seven genes (ADAP2, ALOX5AP, APOBEC3C, FCGRT, GNG5, LRRC25, and SP100) were selected to establish a risk signature for primary LGG. The ROC curves showed a fair performance in survival prediction in both the TCGA and the CGGA validation cohorts. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression revealed that the risk group was an independent prognostic factor in primary LGG. The nomogram was developed based on clinical parameters integrated with the risk signature, and its accuracy for predicting 3- and 5-years survival was assessed by the concordance index, the area under the curve of the time-dependent receiver operating characteristics curve, and calibration curves.


The SI-signature with seven genes could serve as an independent predictor, and suggests the importance of stemness features in risk stratification and survival prediction in primary LGG.