J Cancer 2022; 13(5):1652-1663. doi:10.7150/jca.63545 This issue

Research Paper

APOE Is a Prognostic Biomarker and Correlates with Immune Infiltrates in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

Xu Lin1*, Jing Zhang1*, Ru-Hua Zhao1, Wen-Jing Zhang1, Jing-Fang Wu1✉, Gang Xue2✉

1. Department Of Histology And Embryology, Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, 075000, China
2. Department Of Otorhinolaryngology Head And Neck Surgery, Hebei North University, Zhangjiakou, 075000, China
* These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered as co-first authors.

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Lin X, Zhang J, Zhao RH, Zhang WJ, Wu JF, Xue G. APOE Is a Prognostic Biomarker and Correlates with Immune Infiltrates in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. J Cancer 2022; 13(5):1652-1663. doi:10.7150/jca.63545. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v13p1652.htm

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Graphic abstract

Background: Recent research showed that abnormal lipid metabolism was associated with cancers. As one of the genes that can regulate the level of lipid metabolism, abnormal APOE expression was associated with carcinogenesis. However, the clinical value of APOE in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) remains to be determined.

Methods: ONCOMINE, GEPIA, UALCAN, STRING, GeneMANIA, LinkedOmics, GSCALite, TISIDB, EPIC and TIMER were utilized to achieve comprehensively bioinformatics analysis of APOE in this study. And the immunohistochemical staining of APOE was used to verify the predicted results.

Results: The mRNA level and protein level of APOE of PTC tissues were significantly elevated in TCGA cohort and Shanghai cohort. PTC patients with low mRNA level of APOE were associated with a bad prognosis. The functions of APOE co-expressed genes were mainly enriched in adaptive immune response, protein-lipid complex subunit organization, actin cytoskeleton reorganization, cell chemotaxis, protein activation cascade and transcriptional misregulation in cancer. APOE level was significantly correlated with tumor-infiltrating cells (B cells, CD8+ T cells, neutrophils, and dendritic) and immune biomarkers in PTC.

Conclusions: APOE is a potential independent biomarker for PTC and APOE expression is positively correlated with immune cell infiltration in PTC.

Keywords: Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma, APOE, Immune Infiltrates, Biomarker