Characterization of transcriptome profile and clinical features of a novel immunotherapy target CD204 in diffuse glioma

Cancer Med. 2019 Jul;8(8):3811-3821. doi: 10.1002/cam4.2312. Epub 2019 May 29.


CD204 is a specific marker of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in glioma. However, the expression levels of CD204 and its involvement in glioma are not fully understood. In this large-scale study, we assessed the expression and function of CD204 in whole-grade glioma molecularly and clinically. In total, 1323 glioma samples, including 301 microarray data and 325 RNA-seq data from the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA) dataset and 697 RNA-seq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset, were utilized. The statistical analysis and graphical work were mainly performed using the R software. Univariate and multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that CD204 was an independent prognosticator in glioma patients. CD204 expression was positively correlated with the grade of malignancy. CD204 was consistently upregulated in wild-type isocitrate dehydrogenase glioma and highly expressed in mesenchymal glioblastoma. Gene ontology of CD204-related genes showed that CD204 was most enriched in inflammatory response and immune response. It was associated with the stromal and immune populations, especially the monocytic lineage, fibroblasts, and T cells. Circos plots revealed that CD204 was closely associated with many immune checkpoint regulators, especially TIM-3. CD204 expression is consistent with the malignant phenotype of glioma and independently predicts poor outcomes in glioma patients. Additionally, CD204+ TAMs, collaborating with other checkpoint members, may contribute to the dysfunction of T cells. These findings suggest that CD204 may be a promising target for glioma immunotherapy.

Keywords: CD204; biomarker; glioma; immune checkpoints; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Glioma / genetics*
  • Glioma / mortality
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • ROC Curve
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Transcriptome*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MSR1 protein, human
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class A