Relationship Between CNVs and Immune Cells Infiltration in Gastric Tumor Microenvironment

Front Genet. 2022 Jun 8;13:869967. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.869967. eCollection 2022.


Gastric cancer (GC) is a highly fatal and common malignancy of the digestive system. Recent therapeutic advancements have significantly improved the clinical outcomes in GC, but due to the unavailability of suitable molecular targets, a large number of patients do not respond to the immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) therapy. To identify and validate potential therapeutic and prognostic targets of gastric cancer, we used the "inferCNV" R package for analyzing single-cell sequencing data (GSE112302) of GC and normal epithelial cells. First, by using LASSO, we screened genes that were highly correlated with copy number variations (CNVs). Therefrom, five gene signature (CPVL, DDC, GRTP1, ONECUT2, and PRSS21) was selected by cross-validating the prognosis and risk management with the GC RNA-seq data obtained from GEO and TCGA. Moreover, the correlation analyses between CNVs of these genes and immune cell infiltration in gastric cancer identified CPVL as a potential prognostic marker. Finally, CPVL showed high expression in gastric cancer samples and cell lines, then siRNA-mediated silencing of CPVL expression in gastric cancer cells showed significant proliferation arrest in MGC803 cells. Here, we conclude that CNVs are key regulators of the immune cells infiltration in gastric TME as well as cancer development, and CPVL could potentially be used as a prognostic and therapeutic marker in gastric cancer.

Keywords: cancer immunotherapy; copy number variation; gastric cancer; immune infiltration; tumor microenvironment.