Abnormal Spindle Microtubule Assembly Gene Function in Cancer

Abnormal spindle microtubule assembly (ASPM) is a protein associated with poor outcomes and relapse in various cancers. Researchers, led by Tingting Deng, evaluated the impact of ASPM expression on tumor immunity and prognosis in different tumor samples and concluded that “the high expression of ASPM indicates poor prognosis as well as increased levels of immune cell infiltration in kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC) and liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC).”

Abnormal Spindle Microtubule Assembly Expression Findings

In their report in Frontiers in Oncology, Deng and colleagues explain that they used the Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER), UALCAN, OncoLnc, and Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) databases to assess ASPM and its correlation to tumor immunity and prognosis. Findings were verified via qPCR, western blot, and multiplex quantitative immunofluorescence.

The investigators found that ASPM expression was significantly higher in “most cancer tissues than in corresponding normal tissues, including kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC), kidney renal papillary cell carcinoma (KIRP), liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC), lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAAD), and breast invasive carcinoma (BRCA).” Moreover, the researchers observed that ASPM expression was significantly higher among late-stage cancers compared to early-stages cancers (p <0.05). Authors proposed this suggests a potential ASPM gene function related to cancer pathology. ASPM expression was associated with poor survival outcomes in KIRC and LIHCC (p <0.05)

Based on their analysis of ASPM expression in LIHC and KIRC, the authors suggested it “may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker for both the clinical outcome and immune cell infiltration in KIRC and LIHC.”

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