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Minerva Endocrinologica 2020 Jul 23

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.20.03182-X


language: English

Identification of an immune-related key gene, PPARGC1A, in the development of Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma: in silico study and in vitro evaluation

Yi HUANG 1, Junjun LING 2, Aoshuang CHANG 1, Huiping YE 1, Houyu ZHAO 1, Xianlu ZHUO 1

1 Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, China; 2 Southwest Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing, China


BACKGROUND: Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rare malignant tumor, with short overall survival time and a high mortality rate. To date, there is a lack of effective treatment strategies for this disease. The molecular mechanisms underlying ATC have remained largely unknown. Thus, we aimed to screen the key genes that play a critical role in the genesis and development of ATC.
METHODS: Datasets in the Gene Expression Omnibus database were searched and analyzed to obtain the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between ATC and normal thyroid samples. Then, hub genes were screened out via protein-protein interaction network construction, and the key genes were filtered out from the hub genes. Afterward, the roles of the key genes further evaluated.
RESULTS: A total of 353 up-regulated and 544 down-regulated DEGs were selected, which were enriched in various pathways. Nine hub genes, including CDH1, AQP4, OCLN, SLC4A4, PAX8, DIO1, PPARGC1A, MAL2, and SLC26A4, were screened out.Then, PPARGC1A was identified as the key gene, which was positively correlated with tumor purity but negatively correlated with immune cell infiltration. Moreover, high PPARGC1A expression predicted poor prognosis in thyroid cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: An immune-related gene, PPARGC1A, was filtered out as the key gene that might play critical roles in the initiation and progression of ATC. It might affect the prognosis by inhibiting immune cell infiltrations. Future experimental studies are needed to confirm the results.

KEY WORDS: Anaplastic thyroid cancer; Differentially expressed genes; PPARGC1A; Microarray; Immune cell infiltration

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