A Pyroptosis-Related Gene Signature Associated with Prognosis and Tumor Immune Microenvironment in Gliomas

Int J Gen Med. 2022 May 6;15:4753-4769. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S353762. eCollection 2022.


Background: Pyroptosis is a novel form of cell death that plays a significant role in cancer, while the prognostic values of pyroptosis-related genes in gliomas have not been revealed.

Methods: We analyzed the RNA-seq and clinical data of gliomas from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Xena database to determine differentially expressed pyroptosis-related genes. Based on these genes, a pyroptosis genes signature was constructed after univariate Cox analysis and Lasso Cox analyses. The sensitivity and specificity of pyroptosis genes signature were verified by the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA) dataset. Finally, we explored the association of risk signatures with tumor microenvironment and immune cell infiltration.

Results: Of 15 differentially expressed pyroptosis-related genes, three genes of BCL2 associated X (BAX), caspase 3 (CASP3), and caspase 4 (CASP4) were used to construct the risk signature. The effectiveness of risk signature for predicting survival at 1, 3, 5 years was performed by the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC), and the area under curves (AUC) was 0.739, 0.817, and 0.800, respectively. Functional enrichment results showed signal transduction, cell adhesion, immune response, and inflammatory response were enriched. The immune analysis revealed that pyroptosis had a remarkable effect on the immune microenvironment.

Conclusion: In this study, we constructed a pyroptosis-related gene signature, which can serve as a potential biomarker for predicting the survival of glioma patients. Additionally, we suggested that pyroptosis may promote gliomas development by inducing chronic inflammation microenvironment.

Keywords: gliomas; prognosis; pyroptosis; signature; tumor microenvironment.

Grant support

This study was funded by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.81771961) and the Chongqing Natural Science Foundation of China (cstc2021jcyj-msxmX0036).