Construction of a prognostic model for HCC based on ferroptosis-related lncRNAs expression and its potential to predict the response and irAEs of immunotherapy
Background: Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent programmed cell death process, and studies have confirmed that it plays an important regulatory role in the occurrence and development of various malignancies including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In addition, the role of abnormally expressed long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in regulating and driving the occurrence and development of HCC has attracted more and more attention. However, there is still a lack of research on the role of ferroptosis-related lncRNAs in the prognosis prediction of HCC patients. Method: In this study, we used the Pearson test method to analyze the association between differentially expressed lncRNAs and ferroptosis-related genes in HCC and normal tissues obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and found 68 aberrantly expressed and prognosis-related ferroptosis-related lncRNAs. Based on this, we established an HCC prognostic model composed of 12 ferroptosis-related lncRNAs. In addition, HCC patients were divided into a high-risk group and a low-risk group according to the risk score of this 12 ferroptosis-related lncRNAs prognostic model. Gene enrichment analysis indicated that ferroptosis-related lncRNA-based expression signatures may regulate HCC immune microenvironment signaling pathways through ferroptosis, chemical carcinogenesis-reactive oxygen species, and NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity pathways. In addition, immune cell correlation analysis showed that there were significant differences in immune infiltrating cell subtypes, such as Th cells, macrophages, monocytes, and Treg cells between the two groups. In addition, the expression of multiple immune checkpoint molecules was found to be significantly increased in the high-risk group (eg, PD1, CTLA-4, CD86, etc.). Results: Our research provides a new method for predicting prognosis using a ferroptosis-related lncRNA expression signature prognostic model in hepatocellular carcinoma. And it provides new tools for predicting patient response and adverse effects of immunotherapy. Conclusion: In conclusion, ferroptosis-related lncRNA expression signatures can be used to construct a prognostic prediction model to predict the overall survival of HCC patients, and can be used as an independent influencing factor for prognosis. Further analysis showed that ferroptosis-related lncRNAs may affect the efficacy of immunotherapy in patients with HCC by altering the tumor microenvironment, so this model may serve as a new indicator of the response and irAEs of HCC to immunotherapy.