Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(7):1657-1669. doi:10.7150/ijms.54747 This issue

Research Paper

Granzyme family acts as a predict biomarker in cutaneous melanoma and indicates more benefit from anti-PD-1 immunotherapy

Xia Wu1,2, Xiaojie Wang1, Yan Zhao1, Kun Li1, Bo Yu2✉, Jianzhong Zhang1✉

1. Department of Dermatology, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing 100044, China.
2. Department of Dermatology, Skin Research Institute of Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, 518036, China.

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Wu X, Wang X, Zhao Y, Li K, Yu B, Zhang J. Granzyme family acts as a predict biomarker in cutaneous melanoma and indicates more benefit from anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Int J Med Sci 2021; 18(7):1657-1669. doi:10.7150/ijms.54747. Available from

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Graphic abstract

The incidence of cutaneous melanoma (CM) increased since the 1970s, and also along with an unfavorable prognosis. CM patients have been verified benefits from immunotherapy, and granzymes (GZMs) comprise more than 90% of the cytolytic granules secreted by cytotoxic T lymphocytes and nature killer cell. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate the prognostic value of GZMs in CM. A total of 633 CM patients was enrolled to access the prognostic value of GZMs. The integrated prognostic value of five GZMs was validated in TCGA-SKCM, GSE65904, GSE53118, GSE19234 and GSE22153 cohorts. GZMscore, age, Breslow's depth and tumor stage are the independent risk factors for CM patients, risk score based on these factors was calculated in TCGA-SKCM and GSE65906 cohorts, which could polarize the CM patients to high- and low-risk groups with diverse prognosis. Patients in low-risk group obtained the activated immune signaling pathways and response, especially for the activated CD8+ T cells, and could benefit more from anti-PD-1 therapy. A higher tumor mutation burden was observed in low-risk group, especially for the mutation of BRAF. The protect function of GZMK was confirmed by CM cell lines, overexpression of GZMK in A375 and G361 cells suppresses cell proliferation, migration, but not cell apoptosis. All in all, we revealed the prognostic value of GZMs in CM patients, which could also act as a predicted value for the selection of responders of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy.

Keywords: granzymes, cutaneous melanoma, overall survival, risk score