CTHRC1 is associated with immune cell infiltration and functions as an adverse marker for prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
- Ruolei Zhong
- Mengling Yang
- Rui Zhu
- Jiahua Zhang
- Li Wang
Affiliations: Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430015, P.R. China, Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430022, P.R. China, Center for Stem Cell Research and Application, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430022, P.R. China, Department of Emergency Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430022, P.R. China
- Published online on: February 15, 2023 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2023.13719
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Collagen triple helix repeat containing 1 (CTHRC1) is a secreted glycoprotein that decreases the deposition of collagen matrix and accelerates tumor metastasis. However, the relationship between CTHRC1 and the outcomes of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and tumor‑infiltrating lymphocytes remains unclear. In the present study, the transcriptional level of CTHRC1 and its association with overall survival (OS) and relapse‑free survival (RFS) time in diverse cancer types were evaluated using The Cancer Genome Atlas, Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER), ONCOMINE and Kaplan‑Meier plotter databases. The association of CTHRC1 expression level with the clinicopathological parameters of patients with HNSCC from The University of ALabama at Birmingham CANcer data analysis Portal (UALCAN) database were also evaluated. Enrichment analysis of CTHRC1 was carried out using gene set enrichment analysis software. CIBERSORT and TIMER databases were used to evaluate the relationship between the expression level of CTHRC1 and the proportion of tumor‑infiltrating immune cells (TICs) in multiple cancer types. Moreover, immunohistochemistry was used to verify the expression of CTHRC1 in clinical samples of HNSCC. CTHRC1 was upregulated in HNSCC and high expression of CTHRC1 was associated with worsening clinicopathologic parameters and shorter OS and RFS times. There were eight HALLMARK gene sets, 1,231 immune signature gene sets and 14 KEGG gene sets significantly enriched in the high CTHRC1 expression group, while no gene set was enriched in the low CTHRC1 expression group. The expression of CTHRC1 was closely correlated with the proportion of TICs, where the expression of CTHRC1 was significantly positively correlated with the amount of infiltrated M0 and M2 macrophages, and significantly negatively associated with the levels of M1 macrophages. These findings suggest that CTHRC1 is an adverse prognostic marker and is associated with immune cell infiltration in HNSCC.