Pan-cancer analysis identifies the immunological and prognostic role of PAK4

Life Sci. 2023 Jan 1:312:121263. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.121263. Epub 2022 Dec 2.


Aims: P21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4) belongs to the wider family of Serine/Threonine p21-activated kinases (PAKs) and functions as a hub for signaling pathways in cancer progression. Numerous studies have indicated the significance of PAK4 for tumorigenesis, but no systematic pan-cancer analysis has been performed.

Main methods: The current study aimed to investigate the prognostic and immunological functions of PAK4 through bioinformatic analysis of datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas, UALCAN, GEPIA2, cBioPortal, TIMER2, and Human Protein Atlas. PAK4 expression was correlated with prognosis, DNA methylation, tumor mutational burden, microsatellite instability, and immune cell infiltration.

Key findings: PAK4 was highly expressed in various cancers but showed decreased expression in colon adenocarcinoma, kidney renal clear cell carcinoma, kidney renal papillary cell carcinoma, and thyroid carcinoma. PAK4 was found to have a positive or negative correlation with prognosis of different cancers. PAK4 expression was related to tumor mutational burden in 11 tumor types, and associated with microsatellite instability in 10 tumor types and was correlated with immune infiltration and immune checkpoint genes.

Significance: PAK4 could be considered as a prognostic and immunotherapeutic marker for some types of malignant tumor.

Keywords: Immune infiltration; Methylation; PAK4; Pan-cancer; Phosphorylation; Prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / immunology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colonic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics
  • Kidney Neoplasms / immunology
  • Microsatellite Instability
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / immunology
  • Prognosis
  • p21-Activated Kinases / genetics
  • p21-Activated Kinases / immunology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • p21-Activated Kinases
  • PAK4 protein, human