TAP1, a potential immune-related prognosis biomarker with functional significance in uveal melanoma

BMC Cancer. 2023 Feb 11;23(1):146. doi: 10.1186/s12885-023-10527-9.


Background: TAP1 is an immunomodulation-related protein that plays different roles in various malignancies. This study investigated the transcriptional expression profile of TAP1 in uveal melanoma (UVM), revealed its potential biological interaction network, and determined its prognostic value.

Methods: CIBERSORT and ESTIMATE bioinformatic methods were used on data sourced from The Cancer Genome Atlas database (TCGA) to determine the correlation between TAP1 expression, UVM prognosis, biological characteristics, and immune infiltration. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was used to discover the signaling pathways associated with TAP1, while STRING database and CytoHubba were used to construct protein-protein interaction (PPI) and competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks, respectively. An overall survival (OS) prognostic model was constructed to test the predictive efficacy of TAP1, and its effect on the in vitro proliferation activity and metastatic potential of UVM cell line C918 cells was verified by RNA interference.

Results: There was a clear association between TAP1 expression and UVM patient prognosis. Upregulated TAP1 was strongly associated with a shorter survival time, higher likelihood of metastasis, and higher mortality outcomes. According to GSEA analysis, various immunity-related signaling pathways such as primary immunodeficiency were enriched in the presence of elevated TAP1 expression. A PPI network and a ceRNA network were constructed to show the interactions among mRNAs, miRNAs, and lncRNAs. Furthermore, TAP1 expression showed a significant positive correlation with immunoscore, stromal score, CD8+ T cells, and dendritic cells, whereas the correlation with B cells and neutrophils was negative. The Cox regression model and calibration plots confirmed a strong agreement between the estimated OS and actual observed patient values. In vitro silencing of TAP1 expression in C918 cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation and metastasis.

Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate that TAP1 expression is positively correlated with clinicopathological factors and poor prognosis in UVM. In vitro experiments also verified that TAP1 is associated with C918 cell proliferation, apoptosis, and metastasis. These results suggest that TAP1 may function as an oncogene, prognostic marker, and importantly, as a novel therapeutic target in patients with UVM.

Keywords: Immunomodulation; Metastasis; Prognostic biomarkers; TAP1; Uveal melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 2 / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor* / genetics
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • MicroRNAs* / metabolism
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs
  • TAP1 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 2

Supplementary concepts

  • Uveal melanoma