Brain radiotoxicity-related 15CAcBRT gene expression signature predicts survival prognosis of glioblastoma patients

Neuro Oncol. 2023 Feb 14;25(2):303-314. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noac171.


Background: Glioblastoma is the most common and devastating primary brain cancer. Radiotherapy is standard of care; however, it is associated with brain radiation toxicity (BRT). This study used a multi-omics approach to determine whether BRT-related genes (RGs) harbor survival prognostic value and whether their encoded proteins represent novel therapeutic targets for glioblastoma.

Methods: RGs were identified through analysis of single-nucleotide variants associated with BRT (R-SNVs). Functional relationships between RGs were established using Protein-Protein Interaction networks. The influence of RGs and their functional groups on glioblastoma prognosis was evaluated using clinical samples from the Glioblastoma Bio-Discovery Portal database and validated using the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas dataset. The identification of clusters of radiotoxic and putative pathogenic variants in proteins encoded by RGs was achieved by computational 3D structural analysis.

Results: We identified the BRT-related 15CAcBRT molecular signature with prognostic value in glioblastoma, by analysis of the COMT and APOE protein functional groups. Its external validation confirmed clinical relevance independent of age, MGMT promoter methylation status, and IDH mutation status. Interestingly, the genes IL6, APOE, and MAOB documented significant gene expression levels alteration, useful for drug repositioning. Biological networks associated with 15CAcBRT signature involved pathways relevant to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Analysis of 3D clusters of radiotoxic and putative pathogenic variants in proteins coded by RGs unveiled potential novel therapeutic targets in neuro-oncology.

Conclusions: 15CAcBRT is a BRT-related molecular signature with prognostic significance for glioblastoma patients and represents a hub for drug repositioning and development of novel therapies.

Keywords: COMT; brain radiotoxicity; glioblastoma; molecular signatures; prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Apolipoproteins E / metabolism
  • Apolipoproteins E / therapeutic use
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Brain Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Glioblastoma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Transcriptome


  • Apolipoproteins E