Image_11_Cuproptosis-related risk score predicts prognosis and characterizes the tumor microenvironment in colon adenocarcinoma.tif
Cuproptosis is a novel copper-dependent regulatory cell death (RCD), which is closely related to the occurrence and development of multiple cancers. However, the potential role of cuproptosis-related genes (CRGs) in the tumor microenvironment (TME) of colon adenocarcinoma (COAD) remains unclear.Methods
Transcriptome, somatic mutation, somatic copy number alteration and the corresponding clinicopathological data of COAD were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus database (GEO). Difference, survival and correlation analyses were conducted to evaluate the characteristics of CRGs in COAD patients. Consensus unsupervised clustering analysis of CRGs expression profile was used to classify patients into different cuproptosis molecular and gene subtypes. TME characteristics of different molecular subtypes were investigated by using Gene set variation analysis (GSVA) and single sample gene set enrichment analysis (ssGSEA). Next, CRG Risk scoring system was constructed by applying logistic least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) cox regression analysis and multivariate cox analysis. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were used to exam the expression of key Risk scoring genes.Results
Our study indicated that CRGs had relatively common genetic and transcriptional variations in COAD tissues. We identified three cuproptosis molecular subtypes and three gene subtypes based on CRGs expression profile and prognostic differentially expressed genes (DEGs) expression profile, and found that changes in multilayer CRGs were closely related to the clinical characteristics, overall survival (OS), different signaling pathways, and immune cell infiltration of TME. CRG Risk scoring system was constructed according to the expression of 7 key cuproptosis-related risk genes (GLS, NOX1, HOXC6, TNNT1, GLS, HOXC6 and PLA2G12B). RT-qPCR and IHC indicated that the expression of GLS, NOX1, HOXC6, TNNT1 and PLA2G12B were up-regulated in tumor tissues, compared with those in normal tissues, and all of GLS, HOXC6, NOX1 and PLA2G12B were closely related with patient survival. In addition, high CRG risk scores were significantly associated with high microsatellite instability (MSI-H), tumor mutation burden (TMB), cancer stem cell (CSC) indices, stromal and immune scores in TME, drug susceptibility, as well as patient survival. Finally, a highly accurate nomogram was constructed to promote the clinical application of the CRG Risk scoring system.Discussion
Our comprehensive analysis showed that CRGs were greatly associated with TME, clinicopathological characteristics, and prognosis of patient with COAD. These findings may promote our understanding of CRGs in COAD, providing new insights for physicians to predict prognosis and develop more precise and individualized therapy strategies.