Comprehensive co‑expression analysis reveals TMC8 as a prognostic immune‑associated gene in head and neck squamous cancer
- Bo Lin
- Shunji Wang
- Youdan Yao
- Yuehong Shen
- Hongyu Yang
Affiliations: Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Stomatological Center, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518036, P.R. China
- Published online on: April 27, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.12759
Copyright: © Lin
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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The occurrence and prognosis of head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSC) is closely associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Transmembrane channel‑like 8 (TMC8) is a key gene affecting the susceptibility of HPV and that plays an important role in T cell regulation. However, the mechanism by which TMC8 affects T cells and whether it further affects the prognosis of patients with HNSC remains unclear. In the present study, oral cancer cell lines and independent tumor specimens were used to detect TMC8 expression in HNSC. Differential expression of TMC8, methylation status, function and associated signaling pathways were further analyzed. Then, multiple databases were cross‑analyzed for the relationship of TMC8 with immune cell infiltration and its impact on the prognosis of numerous types of cancer. The results showed that TMC8 was upregulated in HNSC and high expression was predictive of an improved prognosis. Furthermore, TMC8 was concentrated in multiple immune‑associated signaling pathways and the expression of TMC8 was associated with the infiltration of CD4+ T cells and their subsets, including CD8+ T cells, B cells and macrophages, suggesting that TMC8 may play an anti‑HPV role by regulating CD4+ T cells. Thus, TMC8 plays an anti‑HPV role by regulating the infiltration level of CD4+ T cells, and could therefore be used as a potential prognostic marker for patients with HNSC.