Background: B4GALT5 is postulated to be an important protein in sugar metabolism that catalyzes the synthesis of lactosylceramide (LacCer). However, its role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unknown.
Method: We characterized the expression of B4GALT5 in HCC tissue compared to normal tissue, and explored its function of B4GALT5 in HCC by enrichment analysis based on its co-expressed gene set. Next, we checked whether B4GALT5 expression is correlated to immune infiltration level and clinical prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma. Finally, we verified the expression of B4GALT5 using clinical samples evaluated by RT-PCR, and conducted in vitro experiments with B4GALT5-knockdown HCC cells to investigate the function of B4GALT5 in the HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion.
Results: We found B4GALT5 mRNA and protein expression levels were significantly high in HCC tissue compared to normal tissue. The enrichment analysis of the gene sets that co-expressed with B4GALT5 showed specificity in HCC-related pathways and functions. Also, the expression pattern of B4GALT5 was significantly related to the immune infiltration level, especially CD4+ T cell and macrophage cells. B4GALT5 higher mRNA expression was associated with poor overall survival (OS) in HCC patients. Furthermore, In vitro experiments showed that depletion of B4GALT5 significantly inhibited HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. This study revealed the function and its mediated pathways of B4GALT5 in HCC, indicating that B4GALT5 may serve as a prognostic biomarker of HCC.