Investigators Identify 12 Immune-Related lncRNAs That Could Impact Endometrial Cancer Prognosis

Several immune-related long noncoding RNA signatures—including PCAT19 and SCARNA9—may be associated with prognosis in patients with endometrial cancer, according to the new research.

Prognosis in patients with endometrial cancer may be potentially impacted by 12 immune-related long noncoding RNA signatures (IncRNAs) that could act as promising therapeutic targets and molecular biomarkers, according to findings from a study published in Journal of Oncology.

The lncRNAs, including ELN-AS1, AC103563.7, PCAT19, AF131215.5, LINC01871, AC084117.1, NRAV, SCARNA9, AL049539.1, POC1B-AS1, AC108134.4, and AC019080.5, correlated with factors such as patient age, pathologic grade, and International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage. In turn, these factors were significantly associated with patients survival. The model appeared to be accurate based on risk score (area under the curve [AUC], 0.709), age (AUC, 0.614), grade (AUC, 0.652), and stage (AUC, 0.709). Investigators also reported that AC103563.7, AL049539.1, ELN-AS1, NRAV, and POC1B-AS1 were associated with age, pathological grade, and FIGO stage; AC108134.4 and PCAT19 were associated with pathological grade and FIGO stage; and AF131215.5 and SCARNA9 were associated with pathological grade.

“By sorting and analyzing the transcriptome information of endometrial cancer samples from TCGA [The Cancer Genome Atlas] database, we identified 12 immune-related lncRNAs. These molecules may play important regulatory roles in the occurrence and development of endometrial cancer and represent potential therapeutic targets. However, their specific roles and mechanisms require further experimental validation,” the investigators wrote.

Investigators assessed 575 endometrial cancer samples for RNA sequencing data. Immune-related genes were pulled from TCGA database gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA). Investigators received immune-related lncRNAs that demonstrated a co-expressive relationship with immune-related genes. From there, a Cox regression analysis was conducted to establish a prognostic model. The model was then assessed against survival, independent prognostic, and clinical correlation analyses. Additionally, GSEA software was used to conduct a functional annotation of the lncRNAs that were included in the study.

A total of 332 immune-related genes were pulled from the GSEA datasets to pinpoint which lncRNAs correlated with prognosis. Of these, 137 immune-related genes and 363 immune-related lncRNAs demonstrated a co-expressive relationship with known immune-related genes.

Samples were broken up into high- and low-risk scores based on median risk score. Notably, survival was lower in the high-risk compared with the low-risk group. This was further confirmed when examining the risk curves in both respective groups, with survival time being notably shorter in the high-risk vs low-risk cohort.

When examining expression levels of the 12 immune-related lncRNAs across risk statuses, investigators reported that expression of AC103563.7, AF131215.5, AC084117.1, and AL049539.1 was more prevalent in those with high-risk disease and NRAV, ELN-AS1, PCAT19, AC108134.4, LINC01871, and SCARNA9 occurred more in the low-risk population. In the low expression group, LINC01871, AC108134.4, and POC1B-AS1 were associated with a lower overall survival rate compared with the high expression cohort. Moreover, in the low AC019080.5 expression group, overall survival was higher vs the high expression cohort (P <.05).


Wang Z, Liu J, Zhao R, et al. An immune-related long noncoding RNA signature as a Prognostic Biomarker for Human Endometrial Cancer. J Oncol. Published online December 10, 2021. doi:10.1155/2021/9972454