Background: Alterations of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1 (MEK1) are commonly associated with tumorigenesis, and MEK1 is thought to be a suitable targeted therapy for various cancers. However, abnormal MEK1 alterations and their relevant clinical implications are unknown. Our research comprehensively analyzed the MEK1 alteration spectrum and provided novel insight for targeted therapies.
Methods: There were 7694 samples covering 32 types of cancer from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. They were used to conduct an integrative analysis of MEK1 expression, alterations, functional impacts and clinical significance.
Results: There was a dramatic difference in the alteration frequency and distribution and clinical implications in 32 types of cancer from the TCGA. Skin cutaneous melanoma (SKCM) has the most alterations and has therapeutic targets located in the protein kinase domain, and the growing expression of SKCM is positively related to patient prognosis. MEK1 expression in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD), kidney renal papillary cell carcinoma (KIRP), esophageal carcinoma (ESCA) and liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC) is decreased, which is associated with better prognosis, while MEK1 expression in thymoma (THYM), stomach adenocarcinoma (STAD), kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC), testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSC) is increased, which is associated with better prognosis. Mesothelioma (MESO) has the second highest alterations but has no therapy targets.
Conclusion: This study provided a great and detailed interpretation of MEK1 expression, alterations and clinical implications in 32 types of cancer and reminded us to fill the gap in MEK1 research from a new perspective. Keywords: MEK1, gene mutation, gene alteration, outcome, pan-cancer