Prognostic Neurotransmitter Receptors Genes Are Associated with Immune Response, Inflammation and Cancer Hallmarks in Brain Tumors

Yuri Belotti, Serenella Tolomeo, Rongjun Yu, Wan Teck Lim, Chwee Teck Lim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Neurotransmitters (NTs) have recently been linked with the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells, but the role of NTs in the progression of human gliomas is still largely unexplored. Here, we investigate the genes encoding for neurotransmitter receptors (NTRs) by analyzing public transcriptomic data from GBM and LGG (low-grade glioma) samples. Our results showed that 50 out of the 98 tested NTR genes were dysregulated in brain cancer tissue. Next, we identified and validated NTR-associated prognostic gene signatures for both LGG and GBM. A subset of 10 NTR genes (DRD1, HTR1E, HTR3B, GABRA1, GABRA4, GABRB2, GABRG2, GRIN1, GRM7, and ADRA1B) predicted a positive prognosis in LGG and a negative prognosis in GBM. These genes were progressively downregulated across glioma grades and exhibited a strong negative correlation with genes associated with immune response, inflammasomes, and established cancer hallmarks genes in lower grade gliomas, suggesting a putative role in inhibiting cancer progression. This study might have implications for the development of novel therapeutics and preventive strategies that target regulatory networks associated with the link between the autonomic nervous system, cancer cells, and the tumor microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2544
JournalCancers
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

User-Defined Keywords

  • bioinformatics
  • brain tumors
  • glioblastoma
  • precision medicine
  • prognostic biomarker
  • TCGA
  • transcriptomics

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