Co-expression and prognosis analyses of GLUT1-4 and RB1 in breast cancer


Background: Current treatment methods for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) are very limited, and the prognosis of TNBC is relatively poor. It has been reported that glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) is overexpressed in breast cancer cells; however, its association with the prognosis is mostly unclear. Moreover, retinoblastoma gene 1 (RB1) might be used as a biomarker for the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to GLUT1 inhibitors, which brought us to the hypothesis that there might be a close correlation between the expression of GLUT1-4 and the expression of RB1.

Methods: In this study, we systematically analyzed the co-expression of GLUT1-4 and the influence of GLUT1-4 gene expression on the prognosis of breast cancer using data mining methods. We also explored possible relationships between GLUT1-4 and RB1 expression in breast cancer tissues. We used public databases such as ONCOMINE, GEPIA, LinkedOmics, and COEXPEDIA.

Results: According to the results, the mRNA expression of SLC2A1 was significantly higher in breast cancer, while the expression levels of SLC2A2-4 were downregulated. The results also indicate that GLUT1 expression does not have significant influence on the overall survival of patients with breast cancer. The mRNA expression of SLC2A1 and RB1 is significantly correlated, which means that tissues with high RB1 mRNA expression might have relatively higher mRNA expression of SLC2A1; however, further study analyzing their roles in the expression regulation pathways with human samples is needed to verify the hypothesis.

Conclusions: The mRNA expression of SLC2A1 was significantly higher in breast cancer. The overall survival of breast cancer patients wasn’t significantly correlated with GLUT1-4 expression. The mRNA expression of SLC2A1 and RB1 is significantly correlated according to the analysis conducted in LinkedOmics. It provides reference for future possible individualized treatment of TNBC using GLUT1 inhibitors, especially in patients with higher mRNA expression of RB1. Further study analyzing the roles of these two genes in the regulation pathways is needed.