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Prognosis prediction and tumor immune microenvironment characterization based on tryptophan metabolism-related genes signature in brain glioma

Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,West China Hospital of Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Zhang, Shuxin;
Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,West China Hospital of Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Chen, Siliang;
Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,West China Hospital of Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Wang, Zhihao;
Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,Chengdu Second People’s Hospital ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Li, Junhong;
Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,West China Hospital of Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Yuan, Yunbo;
Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,West China Hospital of Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Feng, Wentao;
Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,West China Hospital of Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Li, Wenhao;
Affiliation
State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy ,Neuroscience and Metabolism Research ,West China Hospital ,Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,China
Chen, Mina;
Affiliation
Department of Neurosurgery ,West China Hospital of Sichuan University ,Chengdu ,Sichuan ,China
Liu, Yanhui

Glioma is the most common malignant tumor in the central nervous system with no significant therapeutic breakthrough in recent years. Most attempts to apply immunotherapy in glioma have failed. Tryptophan and its metabolism can regulate malignant features of cancers and reshape immune microenvironment of tumors. However, the role of tryptophan metabolism in glioma remains unclear. In current study, we explored the relationships between the expression pattern of tryptophan metabolism-related genes (TrMGs) and tumor characteristics, including prognosis and tumor microenvironment of gliomas through analyzing 1,523 patients’ samples from multiple public databases and our own cohort. Based on expression of TrMGs, K-means clustering analysis stratified all glioma patients into two clusters with significantly different TrMG expression patterns, clinicopathological features and immune microenvironment. Furthermore, we constructed a tryptophan metabolism-related genes signature (TrMRS) based on seven essential TrMGs to classify the patients into TrMRS low- and high-risk groups and validated the prognostic value of the TrMRS in multiple cohorts. Higher TrMRS represented for potentially more active tryptophan catabolism, which could subsequently lead to less tryptophan in tumor. The TrMRS high-risk group presented with shorter overall survival, and further analysis confirmed TrMRS as an independent prognostic factor in gliomas. The nomograms uniting TrMRS with other prognostic factors manifested with satisfactory efficacy in predicting the prognosis of glioma patients. Additionally, analyses of tumor immune landscapes demonstrated that higher TrMRS was correlated with more immune cell infiltration and “hot” immunological phenotype. TrMRS was also demonstrated to be positively correlated with the expression of multiple immunotherapy targets, including PD1 and PD-L1. Finally, the TrMRS high-risk group manifested better predicted response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. In conclusion, our study illustrated the relationships between expression pattern of TrMGs and characteristics of gliomas, and presented a novel model based on TrMRS for prognosis prediction in glioma patients. The association between TrMRS and tumor immune microenvironment of gliomas indicated an important role of tryptophan and its metabolism in reshaping immune landscape and the potential ability to guide the application of immunotherapy for gliomas.

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License Holder: Copyright © 2022 Zhang, Chen, Wang, Li, Yuan, Feng, Li, Chen and Liu.

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