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Integrated Proteomics and Bioinformatics to Identify Potential Prognostic Biomarkers in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Authors Zhang Q, Xiao Z, Sun S, Wang K, Qian J, Cui Z, Tao T, Zhou J

Received 18 November 2020

Accepted for publication 28 January 2021

Published 11 March 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 2307—2317

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S291811

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Harikrishna Nakshatri


Qifan Zhang,1,* Zhen Xiao,2,* Shibo Sun,1 Kai Wang,1 Jianping Qian,1 Zhonglin Cui,1 Tao Tao,3 Jie Zhou1

1Division of Hepatobiliopancreatic Surgery, Department of General Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, 510515, People’s Republic of China; 2College of Life Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, 200234, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Anesthesiology, Central People’s Hospital of Zhanjiang, Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, 524045, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Tao Tao; Jie Zhou Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Background: Liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of death by cancer and has a high mortality world-widely. Approximately 75– 85% of primary liver cancers are caused by HCC. Uncovering novel genes with prognostic significance would shed light on improving the HCC patient’s outcome.
Objective: In this research, we aim to identify novel prognostic biomarkers in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Methods: Integrated proteomics and bioinformatics analysis were performed to investigate the expression landscape of prognostic biomarkers in 24 paired HCC patients.
Results: As a result, eight key genes related to prognosis, including ACADS, HSD17B13, PON3, AMDHD1, CYP2C8, CYP4A11, SLC27A5, CYP2E1, were identified by comparing the weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), proteomic differentially expressed genes (DEGs), proteomic turquoise module, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort DEGs of HCC. Furthermore, we trained and validated eight pivotal genes integrating these independent clinical variables into a nomogram with superior accuracy in predicting progression events, and their lower expression was associated with a higher stage/risk score. The Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) further revealed that these key genes showed enrichment in the HCC regulatory pathway.
Conclusion: All in all, we found that these eight genes might be the novel potential prognostic biomarkers for HCC and also provide promising insights into the pathogenesis of HCC at the molecular level.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC, proteomics, bioinformatics analysis, prognosis, biomarkers

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