Integrated Bioinformatic Analysis of the Expression and Prognosis of Caveolae-Related Genes in Human Breast Cancer

Front Oncol. 2021 Aug 26;11:703501. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.703501. eCollection 2021.


Caveolae-related genes, including CAVs that encodes caveolins and CAVINs that encodes caveolae-associated proteins cavins, have been identified for playing significant roles in a variety of biological processes including cholesterol transport and signal transduction, but evidences related to tumorigenesis and cancer progression are not abundant to correlate with clinical characteristics and prognosis of patients with cancer. In this study, we investigated the expression of these genes at transcriptional and translational levels in patients with breast cancer using Oncomine, Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA), cBioPortal databases, and immunohistochemistry of the patients in our hospital. Prognosis of patients with breast cancer based on the expressions of CAVs and CAVINs was summarized using Kaplan-Meier Plotter with their correlation to different subtyping. The relevant molecular pathways of these genes were further analyzed using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway database and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA). Results elucidated that expression levels of CAV1, CAV2, CAVIN1, CAVIN2, and CAVIN3 were significantly lower in breast cancer tissues than in normal samples, while the expression level of CAVIN2 was correlated with advanced tumor stage. Furthermore, investigations on survival of patients with breast cancer indicated outstanding associations between prognosis and CAVIN2 levels, especially for the patients with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. In conclusion, our investigation indicated CAVIN2 is a potential therapeutic target for patients with ER+ breast cancer, which may relate to functions of cancer cell surface receptors and adhesion molecules.

Keywords: CAVINs; CAVs; bioinformatics; biomarkers; breast cancer; prognosis.