1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, China.
2. Department of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Honghui Hospital, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710054, China.
3. Department of Nutrition, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, China.
4. Key Laboratory of Tumor Molecular Diagnosis and Individualized Medicine of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital (People's Hospital of Hangzhou Medical College), Hangzhou 310014, China.
The intimate interaction between redox signaling and immunity has been widely revealed. However, the clinical application of relevant therapeutic is unavailable due to the absence of validated markers that stratify patients. Here, we identified novel biomarkers for prognosis prediction in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Prognostic redox-immune-related genes for predicting overall survival (OS) of HCC were identified using datasets from TCGA, LIRI-JP, and GSE14520. LASSO Cox regression was employed to construct the signature model and generate a risk score in the TCGA cohort. The signature contained CDO1, G6PD, LDHA, GPD1L, PPARG, FABP4, CCL20, SPP1, RORC, HDAC1, STC2, HDGF, EPO, and IL18RAP. Patients in the high-risk group had a poor prognosis compared to the low-risk group. Univariate and multivariate Cox regressions identified this signature as an independent factor for predicting OS. Nomogram constructed by multiple clinical parameters showed good performance for predicting OS indicated by the c-index, the calibration curve, and AUC. GSEA showed that oxidoreductase activity and peroxisome-related metabolic pathways were enriched in the low-risk group, while glycolysis activity and hypoxia were higher in the high-risk group. Furthermore, immune profiles analysis showed that the immune score and stromal score were significantly decreased in the high-risk group in the TCGA cohort. There was a considerably lower infiltration of anti-tumor immune cells while a higher proportion of pro-tumor immune cells in silico. Immune markers were distinctly expressed between the subgroups, and redox-sensitive immunoregulatory biomarkers were at higher levels in the high-risk group. Altogether, we identified a redox-immune prognostic signature. A more severe redox perturbation-driven immunosuppressive environment in the high-risk group stratified by the signature may account for poor survival. This may provide a clue to the combined therapy targeting redox and immune in HCC.
Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, redox, immune, prognosis