Classification molecular subtypes of hepatocellular carcinoma based on PRMT-related genes
Background: Recent studies highlighted the functional role of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) catalyzing the methylation of protein arginine in malignant progression of various tumors. Stratification the subtypes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is fundamental for exploring effective treatment strategies. Here, we aim to conduct a comprehensive analysis of PRMTs with bioinformatic tools to identify novel biomarkers for HCC subtypes classification and prognosis prediction, which may be potential ideal targets for therapeutic intervention. Methods: The expression profiling of PRMTs in HCC tissues was evaluated based on the data of TCGA-LIHC cohort, and further validated in HCC TMA cohort and HCC cell lines. HCC was systematically classified based on PRMT family related genes. Subsequently, the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between molecular subtypes were identified, and prognostic risk model were constructed using least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) and Cox regression analysis to evaluate the prognosis, gene mutation, clinical features, immunophenotype, immunotherapeutic effect and antineoplastic drug sensitivity of HCC. Results: PRMTs expression was markedly altered both in HCC tissues and HCC cell lines. Three molecular subtypes with distinct immunophenotype were generated. 11 PRMT-related genes were enrolled to establish prognostic model, which presented with high accuracy in predicting the prognosis of two risk groups in the training, validation, and immunotherapy cohort, respectively. Additionally, the two risk groups showed significant difference in immunotherapeutic efficacy. Further, the sensitivity of 72 anticancer drugs was identified using prognostic risk model. Conclusion: In summary, our findings stratified HCC into three subtypes based on the PRMT-related genes. The prognostic model established in this work provide novel insights into the exploration of related therapeutic approaches in treating HCC.