Oncotarget

Research Papers:

Mitochondrial biomarkers predict tumor progression and poor overall survival in gastric cancers: Companion diagnostics for personalized medicine

Federica Sotgia _, Michael P. Lisanti

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:67117-67128. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19962

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Abstract

Federica Sotgia1 and Michael P. Lisanti1

1 Translational Medicine, School of Environment & Life Sciences, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Correspondence to:

Michael P. Lisanti, email:

Federica Sotgia, email:

Keywords: gastric cancer, mitochondrial biomarkers, overall survival, tumor progression

Received: June 03, 2017 Accepted: June 19, 2017 Published: August 05, 2017

Abstract

Here, we employed a bioinformatics approach to identify novel molecular determinants to predict tumor progression and overall survival in gastric cancer patients. In particular, we directly assessed whether nuclear-derived mRNA species encoding proteins involved in mitochondrial protein translation and OXPHOS are able to successfully predict clinical outcome in gastric cancer. As such, using in silico validation, we have now established the prognostic value of these mitochondrial biomarkers, in a defined population of gastric cancer patients. In this context, we interrogated 5 year follow-up data collected from a group of N = 359 gastric cancer patients. Importantly, in this group of cancer patients, Ki67 and PCNA (conventional markers of cell proliferation) were associated with tumor progression, as might be expected. Using this simplified informatics approach, we identified ~75 new individual mitochondrial gene probes that effectively predicted tumor progression, with hazard-ratios (HR) of up to 2.22 (p < 2.1e-10). These mitochondrial mRNA transcripts included heat shock proteins/chaperones, membrane proteins, anti-oxidants, enzymes involved in genome maintenance, as well as mitochondrial ribosomal proteins (MRPs) and numerous members of the OXPHOS complexes. In addition, we combined 8 mitochondrial protein transcripts (NDUFS5, VDAC3, ATP5O, IMMT, MRPL28, COX5B, MRPL52, PRKDC), to generate a compact gastric mitochondrial gene signature, associated with a HR of 2.77 (p = 1.4e-14). As a result of this analysis and validation, we strongly suggest that proteins involved in mitochondrial protein translation and OXPHOS should be considered as targets for new drug discovery, for the treatment of gastric cancers. The mitochondrial markers we identified here could also be used as companion diagnostics, to predict clinical outcomes, as well as the patient response to therapy. This should allow a more successful and personalized approach to gastric cancer diagnosis and therapy.


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