1. School of Basic Medical Sciences, Anhui Medical University, 230032 Hefei, Anhui, China
2. Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, 230022 Hefei, Anhui, China
# These authors contributed equally for current work.
Background: The cell division cycle-associated (CDCA) protein family plays a pivotal role in the regulation of the cell cycle during tumorigenesis and predicts the prognosis of tumors, but an analysis of these proteins in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAAD) is still lacking.
Methods: Oncomine and GEPIA were used to observe the expression and prognostic value of eight CDCAs in pan-cancer. Univariate Cox analysis of single CDCAs and multivariate Cox analysis of all eight CDCAs were performed to evaluate the integrated prognostic value of CDCAs, and the results are displayed as hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). K-M plots and receiver operating characteristics curves were used to display the predicted function and accuracy of CDCAs to determine the risk score. Annotation of CDCA-related genes, gene sets enrichment analysis (GSEA) and gene sets variation analysis (GSVA) were performed to reveal the CDCAs that impact biological processes.
Results: CDCAs expression in most tumors is higher than that in normal tissues and is associated with a poor prognosis. Regarding PAAD, increased CDCA expression along with advanced PAAD tumor stage, NUF2, CDCA2, CDCA3, CDCA4 and CDCA5 expression are risk factors for poor prognosis, while CBX2 expression is a protective factor (P < 0.05). The integrated prognostic value of CDCAs in PAAD patients was validated by SurvExpress in the TCGA-PAAD cohort (P < 0.001, HR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.41-3.3) and the ICGC-PACA cohort (P < 0.001, HR = 2.56, 95% CI = 1.73-3.79). Genetic alteration and DNA methylation of CDCAs might not affect the prognosis of PAAD patients. After comparing high- and low-risk groups separated by CDCA risk scores, the activated pathways were revealed and included the cell cycle, DNA repair, P53, MYC-targets, E2F-targets and PI3K pathways.
Conclusion: CDCAs can predict the OS prognosis of PAAD patients. The cell cycle, DNA repair, E2F, P53 and PI3K signaling pathways, in which CDCAs are involved, impact the tumorigenesis of PAAD.