Leveraging methylation to identify the potential causal genes associated with survival in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous cell carcinoma
- Lu Liu
- Ping Zeng
- Sheng Yang
- Zhongshang Yuan
Affiliations: Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250012, P.R. China, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221004, P.R. China, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 211166, P.R. China
- Published online on: April 22, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11564
Copyright: © Liu
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Understanding the different genetic landscape between lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC) is important for understanding the underlying molecular mechanism, which may facilitate the development of effective and precise treatments. Although previous studies have identified a number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) responsible for lung cancer, it is unknown which of these genes are causal. The present study integrated DNA methylation, RNA sequencing, clinical characteristics and survival outcomes of patients with LUAD and LUSC from The Cancer Genome Atlas. DEGs were first identified using edgeR by comparing tumor and normal tissue, and differentially methylated probes (DMPs) were assessed using ChAMP. Candidate genes for further time‑to‑event instrumental variable analysis were selected as the intersecting genes between DEGs and the genes including DMP CpG sites within the transcription start site (TSS1500), with DMPs in TSS1500 region being the instrumental variables. Extensive sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the robustness of the results. The present study identified 906 DEGs for LUAD, among which 538 also had DMPs in the TSS1500 region. In addition, 1,543 DEGs were identified for LUSC, among which 1,053 also had DMPs in the TSS1500 region. Time‑to‑event instrumental variable analysis detected eight potential causal genes for LUAD survival, including aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator like 2, semaphorin 3G, serum deprivation-response protein, chloride intracellular channel protein 5, LIM zinc finger domain containing 2, epithelial membrane protein 2, carbonic anhydrase 7 and LOC116437. The results also identified that phosphatidylinositol‑3,4,5-trisphosphate-dependent Rac exchange factor 2 may be a potential causal gene for LUSC. Therefore, the results of the present study suggested that there was molecular heterogeneity between these two lung cancer subtypes. Such analysis framework can be extended to other cancer genomics research.