1. Department of Gastroenterology, Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital, Medical College of Guizhou University, Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, PR China.
2. Department of Gastroenterology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, PR China.
3. Department of Urology, Guizhou Provincial People's Hospital, Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, PR China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Background: The objective of this study was to analyze the research trend of four RIPK genes (RIPK1, RIPK2, RIPK3, and RIPK4), their expression variations in tumors, and the correlation between RIPK2 expression and immune-related biomarkers in gastric cancer (GC).
Methods: The PubMed database was utilized to investigate the research trend surrounding four RIPKs genes in tumors. The ULCAN database was employed to analyze the differential expression of these four RIPKs genes. TCGA data were utilized to examine the association between RIPK2 expression and various factors including tumor immune infiltration and immune-related biomarkers. Lastly, the impact of targeting RIPK2 on the growth of GC cells was confirmed through tumor formation assay, immunohistochemistry, and Tunnel assays.
Results: In the field of tumor biology, there has been a sustained increase in research focused on the four RIPKs genes over the past decade. Four RIPKs genes are differentially expressed in a majority of tumors. Furthermore, this investigation has unveiled a connection between the expression of RIPK2 and the infiltration of four immune cells, as well as the presence of RNA methylation modifying enzymes, specifically m1A, m6A, and m5C, in GC. Additionally, RIPK2 expression was associated with the genes related to immune checkpoint regulation, as well as genes associated with immunoinhibitors and immunostimulators. It was also revealed that RIPK2 expression was correlated to immunotherapy response biomarkers, namely MSI and TMB, and tumor stemness. Ultimately, it was demonstrated that targeting the RIPK2 effectively regulated GC cells growth through the suppression of PCNA expression and the induction of apoptosis.
Conclusion: The expression of RIPK2 is correlated with immune cell infiltration, RNA methyltransferase activity, tumor stemness, checkpoint-related genes, and immunotherapy-related biomarkers. Suppression of RIPK2 impedes the growth of GC cells in vivo. Consequently, RIPK2 holds promise as a viable immunotherapy target for various types of cancer.
Keywords: RIPKs, immune infiltration, immune checkpoint, tumor stemness, RNA methylation