Background: Liver cancer (LC) is a common malignancy with very high morbidity. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases (PDKs) are regulators of mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complexes (PDCs) and play an important role in regulating cellular energy metabolism. In this study, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database was used to analyze the expression of PDK2 mRNA in LC, and to explore the value of PDK2 in the diagnosis and prognosis of LC.
Methods: The TCGA database, containing the clinical data of 373 LC patients, includes information on PDK2 expression values. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of PDK2 was drawn to evaluate its diagnostic ability. Patients were divided into PDK2 high- and low-expressing groups by threshold levels. The Chi-square test was used to evaluate the correlation between PDK2 levels and clinicopathological characteristics. The Kaplan-Meier estimator and Cox regression analysis were performed to assess the effect of PDK2 levels on survival outcomes.
Results: PDK2 expression in LC tissue was lower than that in normal liver tissues. According to the area under the curve (AUC) value calculated by ROC, PDK2 has a considerable diagnostic value for LC prognosis. The decreased expression of PDK2 is associated with clinical parameters, such as histologic grade ( P =0.0001), radiation therapy ( P =0.0490), vital status ( P =0.0240), and overall survival (OS) ( P =0.0222). Multivariate analysis shows that decreased PDK2 level is an independent risk factor for predicting poor prognosis in LC.
Conclusions: PDK2 has a significant impact on the prognosis of LC and is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of LC.