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Comprehensive analysis of potential prognostic genes for the construction of a competing endogenous RNA regulatory network in hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Yue C, Ren Y, Ge H, Liang C, Xu Y, Li G, Wu J

Received 27 September 2018

Accepted for publication 11 December 2018

Published 14 January 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 561—576


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Takuya Aoki

Chaosen Yue,1 Yaoyao Ren,2 Hua Ge,1 Chaojie Liang,1 Yingchen Xu,1 Guangming Li,1 Jixiang Wu1

1Department of General Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an extremely common malignant tumor with worldwide prevalence. The aim of this study was to identify potential prognostic genes and construct a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) regulatory network to explore the mechanisms underlying the development of HCC.
Integrated analysis was used to identify potential prognostic genes in HCC with R software based on the GSE14520, GSE17548, GSE19665, GSE29721, GSE60502, and the Cancer Genome Atlas databases. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway-enrichment analyses were performed to explore the molecular mechanisms of potential prognostic genes. Differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) and lncRNAs (DELs) were screened based on the Cancer Genome Atlas database. An lncRNA–miRNA–mRNA ceRNA regulatory network was constructed based on information about interactions derived from the miRcode, TargetScan, miRTarBase, and miRDB databases.
Results: A total of 152 potential prognostic genes were screened that were differentially expressed in HCC tissue and significantly associated with overall survival of HCC patients. There were 13 key potential prognostic genes in the ceRNA regulatory network: eleven upregulated genes (CCNB1, CEP55, CHEK1, EZH2, KPNA2, LRRC1, PBK, RRM2, SLC7A11, SUCO, and ZWINT) and two downregulated genes (ACSL1 and CDC37L1) whose expression might be regulated by eight DEMs and 61 DELs. Kaplan–Meier curve analysis showed that nine DELs (AL163952.1, AL359878.1, AP002478.1, C2orf48, C10orf91, CLLU1, CLRN1-AS1, ERVMER61-1, and WARS2-IT1) in the ceRNA regulatory network were significantly associated with HCC-patient prognoses.
Conclusion: This study identified potential prognostic genes and constructed an lncRNA–miRNA–mRNA ceRNA regulatory network of HCC, which not only has important clinical significance for early diagnoses but also provides effective targets for HCC treatments and could provide new insights for HCC-interventional strategies.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, prognostic gene, ceRNA

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