Identification of hub genes associated with prognosis, diagnosis, immune infiltration and therapeutic drug in liver cancer by integrated analysis

ABSTRACT

Background: Liver cancer is one of the most common cancers and causes of cancer death worldwide. The objective was to elucidate novel hub genes which were benefit for diagnosis, prognosis, and targeted therapy in liver cancer via integrated analysis.

Methods: GSE84402, GSE101685, and GSE112791 were filtered from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified by using the GEO2R. The GO and KEGG pathway of DEGs were analyzed in the DAVID. PPI and TF network of the DEGs were constructed by using the STRING, TRANSFAC, and Harmonizome. The relationship between hub genes and prognoses in liver cancer was analyzed in UALCAN based on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The diagnostic value of hub genes was evaluated by ROC. The relationship between hub genes and tumor-infiltrate lymphocytes was analyzed in TIMER. The protein levels of hub genes were verified in HPA. The interaction between the hub genes and the drug were identified in DGIdb.

Results: In total, 108 upregulated and 60 downregulated DEGs were enriched in 148 GO terms and 20 KEGG pathways. The mRNA levels and protein levels of CDK1, HMMR, PTTG1, and TTK were higher in liver cancer tissues compared to normal tissues, which showed excellent diagnostic and prognostic value. CDK1, HMMR, PTTG1, and TTK were positively correlated with tumor-infiltrate lymphocytes, which might involve tumor immune response. The CDK1, HMMR, and TTK had close interaction with anticancer agents.

Conclusions: The CDK1, HMMR, PTTG1, and TTK were hub genes in liver cancer; hence, they might be potential biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and targeted therapy of liver cancer.