Construction of a TP53 mutation-associated ceRNA network as prognostic biomarkers in hepatocellular carcinoma

Heliyon. 2024 Apr 30;10(9):e30066. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e30066. eCollection 2024 May 15.


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) continues to endanger human health worldwide. Regulatory networks of competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) play important roles in HCC. TP53 is the second most often altered gene in HCC and has a significant role in regulating target genes such as miRNAs and lncRNAs.

Methods: Data from patients with TP53 mutation were collected through the cBioPortal database and differential analysis was performed to screen RNAs related to TP53 mutation. The lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA relationship was predicted by the miRcode, miRDB, and TargetScan databases. The ceRNA networks were screened and visualized by Cytoscape. Core ceRNA networks were generated by differential analysis, coexpression analysis, prognostic analysis and subcellular localization. Finally, methylation, mutation, PPI, GSEA, immunity and drug sensitivity analyses of MEX3A were performed to determine the role of MEX3A in HCC.

Results: We identified 1508 DEmRNAs, 85 DEmiRNAs and 931 DElncRNAs and obtained a ceRNA network including 28 lncRNAs, 4 miRNAs and 31 mRNAs. Twenty hub DERNAs in the TP53-altered-related ceRNA network were screened out by Cytoscape and the core ceRNA network (LINC00491/TCL6-hsa-miR-139-5p-MEX3A) was obtained by multiple analyses. In addition, we discovered that the methylation level of MEX3A was decreased and the mutation frequency was raised in HCC. Furthermore, elevated MEX3A expression was associated with alterations in the HCC immunological microenvironment.

Conclusion: We successfully constructed a reciprocal ceRNA network, which could provide new ideas for exploring HCC mechanisms and therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: Competing endogenous RNA; Hepatocellular carcinoma; LINC00491; MEX3A; TCL6; TP53; miR-139-5p.