Objective: Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the most common type of lung cancer. However, predictive biomarkers for early efficacy and prognosis evaluation in patients with surgically resected LUAD are not completely explained.
Methods: Differentially expressed genes (DEGs), gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) were identified by RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) between thirteen LUAD tissues and five normal lung tissues. The expression of DEGs was confirmed by qRT-PCR and a validated cohort from GEPIA. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of the top 5% DEGs was constructed by STRING and visualized in Cytoscape. Immunofluorescence results were acquired from clinical specimens from LUAD patients. The expression of FHL1 was analyzed by ImageJ. Survival analysis was performed using the GEPIA dataset.
Results: Consistent with the RNA-Seq data, validation of DEGs expression by qRT-PCR and GEPIA cohort showed that FHL1 and SLIT3 were down-regulated in LUAD patient tissues compared with non-tumor tissues. Moreover, FHL1 was significantly reduced in LUAD cell lines compared to the bronchial epithelium cell line (P < 0.01). However, SLIT3 was elevated in A549 and H1299 cells (wide type EGFR) (P < 0.05) while decreased in HCC827 and PC9 cells (mutant EGFR) compared to BESA-2B cells (P < 0.01). PPI network revealed the most significant cluster with 10 nodes and 43 edges. Immunofluorescent staining also showed that the expression of FHL1 was lower in LUAD tissues compared with that in normal lung tissues (P < 0.01). The expressions of SLIT3 and FHL1 were positively correlated. Specifically, the higher expression level of SLIT3 and FHL1 independently predicted a better prognosis (P < 0.01 or P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Our findings provide two novel candidates, FHL1 and SLIT3, for prognostic evaluation and treatments after surgery.
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