1. Institute of Biopharmaceutical and Health Engineering, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Gene and Antibody Therapy, State Key Laboratory of Chemical Oncogenomics, Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China.
2. Guangdong Key Laboratory of Chiral Molecule and Drug Discovery, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510006, China.
Objective: This study aimed to validate FANCI as a potential marker for both prognosis and therapy in liver hepatocellular carcinoma.
Method: FANCI expression data were acquired from GEPIA, HPA, TCGA, and GEO databases. The impact of clinicopathological features was analyzed by UALCAN. The prognosis of Liver Hepatocellular Carcinoma (LIHC) patients with highly expressed FANCI was constructed utilizing Kaplan-Meier Plotter. GEO2R was employed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Metascape was used to analyze functional pathways correlations. Protein-Protein interaction (PPI) networks were generated by Cytoscape. Furthermore, molecular complex detection (MCODE) was utilized to recognize Hub genes, which were selected to establish a prognostic model. Lastly, the relationship between FANCI and immune cell infiltration in LIHC was examined.
Results: Compared to adjacent tissues, FANCI expression levels were significantly higher in LIHC tissues and were positively correlated to the cancer grade, stage, and prior hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. High expression of FANCI was found to be associated with poor prognosis in LIHC (HR=1.89, p<0.001). DEGs that were positively correlated with FANCI were involved in various processes, including the cell cycle, VEGF pathway, immune system processes, and biogenesis of ribonucleoproteins. MCM10, TPX2, PRC1, and KIF11 were identified as key genes closely related to FANCI and poor prognosis. A reliable five-variable prognostic model was constructed with strong predictive capability. Lastly, a positive correlation was observed between FANCI expression and tumor-infiltration levels of CD8+ T cells, B cells, regulatory T (Tregs), CD4+ T helper 2 (Th2), and macrophage M2 cells.
Conclusion: FANCI may hold promise as a potential biomarker for predicting prognostic outcomes, and a valuable therapeutic target for LIHC patients, with a focus on anti-proliferation, anti-chemoresistance, and combination with immunotherapy.
Keywords: Liver Hepatocellular carcinoma, FANCI, prognosis, tumor immune infiltration, chemoresistance