Identification of SPRR3 as a novel diagnostic/prognostic biomarker for oral squamous cell carcinoma via RNA sequencing and bioinformatic analyses

PeerJ. 2020 Jun 17:8:e9393. doi: 10.7717/peerj.9393. eCollection 2020.


Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) has always been one of the most aggressive and invasive cancers among oral and maxillofacial malignancies. As the morbidity and mortality of the disease have increased year by year, the search for a promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for the disease is becoming increasingly urgent. Tumorous and adjacent tissues were collected from three OSCC sufferers and we obtained 229 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between tumor and normal tissues via high-throughput RNA sequence. Function and pathway enrichment analyses for DEGs were conducted to find a correlation between tumorigenesis status and DEGs. Protein interaction network and molecular complex detection (MCODE) were constructed to detect core modules. Two modules were enriched in MCODE. The diagnostic and prognostic values of the candidate genes were analyzed, which provided evidence for the candidate genes as new tumor markers. Small Proline Rich Protein 3 (SPRR3), a potential tumor marker that may be useful for the diagnosis of OSCC, was screened out. The survival analysis showed that SPRR3 under expression predicted the poor prognosis of OSCC patients. Further experiments have also shown that the expression of SPRR3 decreased as the malignancy of OSCC increased. Therefore, we believe that SPRR3 could be used as a novel diagnostic and prognostic tumor marker.

Keywords: Bioinformatics; Biomarker; High-throughput RNA sequence; Oral squamous cell carcinoma; SPRR3.

Grants and funding

This study is funded by the Shandong province Tai Shan scholars project special funds, Fundamental Research Funds for the Application of stem cells and tissue regeneration in dental implant (ts201511106). It was also supported by The Youth Scientific Research Funds of School of Stomatology, Shandong University (2018QNJJ01); Shandong Medical and Health Science and Technology Development Plan (2017WS112). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.