Distinct prognostic value of dynactin subunit 4 (DCTN4) and diagnostic value of DCTN1, DCTN2, and DCTN4 in colon adenocarcinoma

Cancer Manag Res. 2018 Nov 16;10:5807-5824. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S183062. eCollection 2018.


Background: Colon adenocarcinoma (COAD) is ranked as the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both women and men, and it is the most frequently occurring malignant tumor. Dynactin is a protein compound based on multiple subunits, including dynactin 1-6 (DCTN1-6), in most categories of cytoplasmic dynein performance in eukaryotes. Nevertheless, correlations between the DCTN family and the prognosis and diagnosis of COAD remain unidentified.

Methods: Statistics for DCTN mRNA expression in patients with COAD were acquired from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Kaplan-Meier analyses and a Cox regression model were applied to determine overall survival, with computation of HRs and 95% CIs. Several online data portals were used to assess the biological process, and pathway examination was performed using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes to predict the biological functionality of DCTN genes.

Results: We found that high expression of DCTN4 was linked with satisfactory results for overall survival (P=0.042, HR=0.650, 95% CI 0.429-0.985). The expression of DCTN1, DATN2, and DCTN4 was closely correlated with the frequency of colon tumors (P<0.001, area under the curve [AUC]=0.8811, 95% CI 0.8311-0.9312; P<0.001, AUC=0.870, 96% CI 0.833-0.9071; and P=0.0051, AUC=0.6317, 95% CI 0.5725-0.6908, respectively). In the enrichment examination, the level of gene expression was related to the cell cycle, cell apoptosis, and the cell metastasis pathway.

Conclusion: The expression levels of DCTN1, DCTN2, and DCTN4 could allow differentiation between cancer-bearing tissues and paracancerous tissue. These genes can be applied as biomarkers to predict the prognosis and diagnosis of COAD.

Keywords: biomarker; colon adenocarcinoma; diagnosis; dynactin; prognosis.