Co-expression of AFAP1-AS1 and PD-1 predicts poor prognosis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma
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Yanyan Tang1,2,3, Yi He2,4, Lei Shi5, Liting Yang2, Jinpeng Wang2, Yu Lian2, Chunmei Fan2, Ping Zhang6, Can Guo2, Shanshan Zhang1, Zhaojian Gong2,5, Xiayu Li3, Fang Xiong1, Xiaoling Li1,2,3, Yong Li2,7, Guiyuan Li1,2,3, Wei Xiong1,2,3 and Zhaoyang Zeng1,2,3
1The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis of the Chinese Ministry of Health, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China
2The Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China
3Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Disease Genome Research Center, The Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China
4Hunan Key Laboratory of Translational Radiation Oncology, Hunan Cancer Hospital and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China
5Department of pathology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China
6School of Information Science and Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China
7Department of Cancer Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Zhaoyang Zeng, email: [email protected]
Lei Shi, email: [email protected]
Keywords: long non-coding RNA, AFAP1-AS1, programmed death 1 (PD-1), prognosis, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)
Received: January 13, 2017 Accepted: February 15, 2017 Published: March 24, 2017
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) carries a high potential for metastasis and immune escape, with a great risk of relapse after primary treatment. Through analysis of whole genome expression profiling data in NPC samples, we found that the expression of a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), actin filament-associated protein 1 antisense RNA 1 (AFAP1-AS1), is significantly correlated with the immune escape marker programmed death 1 (PD-1). We therefore assessed the expression of AFAP1-AS1 and PD-1 in a cohort of 96 paraffin-embedded NPC samples and confirmed that AFAP1-AS1 and PD-1 are co-expressed in infiltrating lymphocytes in NPC tissue. Moreover, patients with high expression of AFAP1-AS1 or PD-1 in infiltrating lymphocytes were more prone to distant metastasis, and NPC patients with positive expression of both AFAP1-AS1 and PD-1 had the poorest prognosis. This study suggests that AFAP1-AS1 and PD-1 may be potential therapeutic targets in NPC and that patients with co-expression of AFAP1-AS1 and PD-1 may be ideal candidates for future clinical trials of anti-PD-1 immune therapy.
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