CAV1 Impacts the Tumor Immune Microenvironment and Has Potential Value of Predicting Response to Immunotherapy in Esophageal Cancer

DNA Cell Biol. 2023 Jan;42(1):27-42. doi: 10.1089/dna.2022.0025. Epub 2022 Dec 29.


Caveolin-1 (CAV1) is one of the members of the caveolae, and the role of CAV1 in esophageal cancer (ESCA) is not completely clear. In this study, we found that expression of CAV1 was downregulated in ESCA in The Cancer Genome Atlas and the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) database and we also use immunohistochemistry of tissue microarray for verification. Then, we used bioinformatics methods to investigate the prognostic value of CAV1, influence on immune cell infiltration in tumor microenvironment (TME) and responding to immunotherapy in ESCA. Our result indicated that CAV1 designs an inflamed TME in ESCA based on the evidence that CAV1 positively correlated with immunomodulators, immune score, stomal score, cancer immunity cycles, tumor-infiltrating immune cells, T cell inflamed score, and immune checkpoints. Immunophenoscore, Tumor Immune Dysfunction and Exclusion algorithms, and the mutation analysis show that the downregulated CAV1 expression indicated higher tumor mutation burden and higher rate of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in the low-expression group. In a word, our study demonstrated the impact of CAV1 to the TME in ESCA and it may be a new target for ESCA immunotherapy. In addition, the expression of CAV1 can predict the clinical response to ICIs, which may provide clinical treatment guidance.

Keywords: CAV1; TIDE; TME; esophageal cancer; immune cells infiltration.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Caveolin 1* / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Caveolin 1
  • CAV1 protein, human