A Novel Cuproptosis-Related Signature Identified DLAT as a Prognostic Biomarker for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients

Wen Dong Bai, Jun Yu Liu, Miao Li, Xi Yang, Yu Lan Wang, Guang Jun Wang, Shi Chao Li


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancers, with more than a million cases per year by 2025. Cuproptosis is a novel form of programmed cell death, and is caused by mitochondrial lipoylation and destabilization of iron-sulfur proteins triggered by copper, which was considered as a key player in various biological processes. However, the roles of cuproptosis-related genes (CRGs) in HCC remain largely unknown.

Methods: In the present study, we constructed and validated a four CRGs signature for predicting the overall survival (OS) of HCC patients in both The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) databases.

Results: Patients with high CRGs risk score showed shorter OS than those with low CRGs risk score. Functional analysis suggested that the CRGs-based prognostic signature was associated with metabolism remodeling which facilitated liver cancer progression. In addition, reduced infiltration of CD8+ T cells and increased macrophages were found in HCCs from patients with high CRGs risk score. As one of the four CRGs, higher expression of dihydrolipoamide S-acetyltransferase (DLAT) was accompanied by higher expression of program death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in HCC. Further, we confirmed that DLAT was up-regulated and correlated with poor prognosis in a clinical HCC cohort.

Conclusion: In conclusion, our study constructed a four CRGs signature prognostic model and identified DLAT as an independent prognostic factor for HCC, thus providing new clues for understanding the association between cuproptosis and HCC.

World J Oncol. 2022;13(5):299-310
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1529


Cuproptosis; DLAT; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Biomarker

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