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Metabolic Pathways Enhancement Confers Poor Prognosis in p53 Exon Mutant Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

  • Author(s): Chen, Po-Ming
  • Li, Jian-Rong
  • Liu, Chun-Chi
  • Tang, Feng-Yao
  • Chiang, Eugene
  • et al.

RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq), the most commonly used sequencing application tool, is not only a method for measuring gene expression but also an excellent media to detect important structural variants such as single nucleotide variants (SNVs), insertion/deletion (Indels), or fusion transcripts. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) contains genomic data from a variety of cancer types and also provides the raw data generated by TCGA consortium. p53 is among the top 10 somatic mutations associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of the present study was to analyze concordant different gene profiles and the priori defined set of genes based on p53 mutation status in HCC using RNA-Seq data. In the study, expression profile of 11 799 genes on 42 paired tumor and adjacent normal tissues was collected, processed, and further stratified by the mutated versus normal p53 expression. Furthermore, we used a knowledge-based approach Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) to compare between normal and p53 mutation gene expression profiles. The statistical significance (nominal P value) of the enrichment score (ES) genes was calculated. The ranked gene list that reflects differential expression between p53 wild-type and mutant genotypes was then mapped to metabolic process by KEGG, an encyclopedia of genes and genomes to assign functional meanings. These approaches enable us to identify pathways and potential target gene/pathways that are highly expressed in p53 mutated HCC. Our analysis revealed 2 genes, the hexokinase 2 (HK2) and Enolase 1 (ENO1), were conspicuous of red pixel in the heatmap. To further explore the role of these genes in HCC, the overall survival plots by Kaplan-Meier method were performed for HK2 and ENO1 that revealed high HK2 and ENO1 expression in patients with HCC have poor prognosis. These results suggested that these glycolysis genes are associated with mutated-p53 in HCC that may contribute to poor prognosis. In this proof-of-concept study, we proposed an approach for identifying novel potential therapeutic targets in human HCC with mutated p53. These approaches can take advantage of the massive next-generation sequencing (NGS) data generated worldwide and make more out of it by exploring new potential therapeutic targets.

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