Identification and validation of an anoikis-associated gene signature to predict clinical character, stemness, IDH mutation, and immune filtration in glioblastoma

Front Immunol. 2022 Aug 25:13:939523. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.939523. eCollection 2022.


Background: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most prominent and aggressive primary brain tumor in adults. Anoikis is a specific form of programmed cell death that plays a key role in tumor invasion and metastasis. The presence of anti-anoikis factors is associated with tumor aggressiveness and drug resistance.

Methods: The non-negative matrix factorization algorithm was used for effective dimension reduction for integrated datasets. Differences in the tumor microenvironment (TME), stemness indices, and clinical characteristics between the two clusters were analyzed. Difference analysis, weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), univariate Cox regression, and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression were leveraged to screen prognosis-related genes and construct a risk score model. Immunohistochemistry was performed to evaluate the expression of representative genes in clinical specimens. The relationship between the risk score and the TME, stemness, clinical traits, and immunotherapy response was assessed in GBM and pancancer.

Results: Two definite clusters were identified on the basis of anoikis-related gene expression. Patients with GBM assigned to C1 were characterized by shortened overall survival, higher suppressive immune infiltration levels, and lower stemness indices. We further constructed a risk scoring model to quantify the regulatory patterns of anoikis-related genes. The higher risk score group was characterized by a poor prognosis, the infiltration of suppressive immune cells and a differentiated phenotype, whereas the lower risk score group exhibited the opposite effects. In addition, patients in the lower risk score group exhibited a higher frequency of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations and a more sensitive response to immunotherapy. Drug sensitivity analysis was performed, revealing that the higher risk group may benefit more from drugs targeting the PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway.

Conclusion: We revealed potential relationships between anoikis-related genes and clinical features, TME, stemness, IDH mutation, and immunotherapy and elucidated their therapeutic value.

Keywords: anoikis; glioblastoma; immunotherapy; pan-cancer analysis; stemness index; tumor microenvironment.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Anoikis* / genetics
  • Anoikis* / immunology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms* / immunology
  • Brain Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Glioblastoma* / diagnosis
  • Glioblastoma* / genetics
  • Glioblastoma* / immunology
  • Glioblastoma* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase* / genetics
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase* / immunology
  • Mutation
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tumor Microenvironment* / genetics
  • Tumor Microenvironment* / immunology


  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • IDH1 protein, human