Background: Given that metabolic reprogramming has been recognized as an essential hallmark of cancer cells, this study sought to investigate the potential prognostic values of metabolism-related genes(MRGs) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) diagnosis and treatment.
Methods: The metabolism-related genes sequencing data of HCC samples with clinical information were obtained from the International Cancer Genome Consortium(ICGC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The differentially expressed MRGs were identified by Wilcoxon rank sum test. Then, univariate Cox regression analysis were performed to identify metabolism-related DEGs that related to overall survival(OS). A novel metabolism-related prognostic signature was developed using the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) and multivariate Cox regression analyses . Furthermore, the signature was validated in the TCGA dataset. Finally, cox regression analysis was applied to identify the prognostic value and clinical relationship of the signature in HCC.
Results: A total of 178 differentially expressed MRGs were detected between the ICGA dataset and the TCGA dataset. We found that 17 MRGs were most significantly associated with OS by using the univariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis in HCC. Then, the Lasso and multivariate Cox regression analyses were applied to construct the novel metabolism-relevant prognostic signature, which consisted of six MRGs. The prognostic value of this prognostic model was further successfully validated in the TCGA dataset. Further analysis indicated that this signature could be an independent prognostic indicator after adjusting to other clinical factors. Six MRGs (FLVCR1, MOGAT2, SLC5A11, RRM2, COX7B2, and SCN4A) showed high prognostic performance in predicting HCC outcomes, and were further associated with tumor TNM stage, gender, age, and pathological stage. Finally, the signature was found to be associated with various clinicopathological features.
Conclusions: In summary, our data provided evidence that the metabolism-based signature could serve as a reliable prognostic and predictive tool for overall survival in patients with HCC.