Research Papers:

High mRNA expression of LY6 gene family is associated with overall survival outcome in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Eric Russ, Krithika Bhuvaneshwar, Guisong Wang, Benjamin Jin, Michele M. Gage, Subha Madhavan, Yuriy Gusev and Geeta Upadhyay _

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Oncotarget. 2021; 12:145-159. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27880

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Eric Russ1, Krithika Bhuvaneshwar2, Guisong Wang3,4, Benjamin Jin1,4, Michele M. Gage3,5, Subha Madhavan2, Yuriy Gusev2 and Geeta Upadhyay1,3

1 Department of Pathology, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD, USA

2 Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC, USA

3 Murtha Cancer Center/Research Program, Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA

4 The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Inc, Bethesda, MD, USA

5 Walter Reed Navy Military Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD, USA

Correspondence to:

Geeta Upadhyay,email: [email protected]

Keywords: LY6 genes; pancreatic cancer; immune cells; survival outcome

Received: November 21, 2020     Accepted: January 19, 2021     Published: February 02, 2021

Copyright: © 2021 Russ et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Pancreatic cancer ranks one of the worst in overall survival outcome with a 5 year survival rate being less than 10%. Pancreatic cancer faces unique challenges in its diagnosis and treatment, such as the lack of clinically validated biomarkers and the immensely immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Recently, the LY6 gene family has received increasing attention for its multi-faceted roles in cancer development, stem cell maintenance, immunomodulation, and association with more aggressive and hard-to-treat cancers. A detailed study of mRNA expression of LY6 gene family and its association with overall survival (OS) outcome in pancreatic cancers is lacking. We used publicly available clinical datasets to analyze the mRNA expression of a set of LY6 genes and its effect on OS outcome in the context of the tumor microenvironment and immunomodulation. We used web-based tools Kaplan-Meier Plotter, cBioPortal, Oncomine and R-programming to analyze copy number alterations, mRNA expression and its association with OS outcome in pancreatic cancer. These analyses demonstrated that high expression of LY6 genes is associated with OS and disease free survival (DFS) outcome. High expression of LY6 genes and their association with OS outcome is dependent on the composition of tumor microenvironment. Considering that LY6 proteins are anchored to the outer cell membrane or secreted, making them readily accessible, these findings highlight the potential of LY6 family members in the future of pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment.

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