Introduction: As the most malignant type of gliomas, glioblastoma is characterized with disappointing prognosis. Here, we aimed to investigate expression and function of NKD inhibitor of Wnt signaling pathway 1 (NKD1), an antagonist of Wnt-beta-catenin signaling pathways, in glioblastoma.
Methods: The mRNA level of NKD1 was firstly retrieved from TCGA glioma dataset to evaluate its correlation with clinical characteristics and its value in prognosis prediction. Then, its protein expression level in glioblastoma was tested by immunohistochemistry staining in a retrospectively cohort collected from our medical center (n = 66). Univariate and multivariate survival analyses were conducted to assess its effect on glioma prognosis. Two glioblastoma cell lines, U87 and U251, were used to further investigate the tumor-related role of NKD1 through overexpression strategy in combination with cell proliferation assays. Immune cell enrichment in glioblastoma and its correlation with NKD1 level was finally assessed using bioinformatics analyses.
Results: NKD1 shows a lower expression level in glioblastoma compared to that in the normal brain or other glioma subtypes, which is independently correlated to a worse prognosis in both the TCGA cohort and our retrospective cohort. Overexpressing NKD1 in glioblastoma cell lines can significantly attenuate cell proliferation. In addition, expression of NKD1 in glioblastoma is negatively correlated to the T cell infiltration, indicating it may have crosstalk with the tumor immune microenvironment.
Conclusions: NKD1 inhibits glioblastoma progression and its downregulated expression indicates a poor prognosis.
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