NOLC1 was identified as a tumor suppressor gene in thyroid cancer and correlated with prognosis by bioinformatics

Am J Cancer Res. 2024 May 15;14(5):2055-2071. doi: 10.62347/IYVV7581. eCollection 2024.

Abstract

Thyroid cancer (THCA) is the most common endocrine malignancy, mainly affecting women's unilateral glandular lobes. However, for relapsed and distant metastasis of THCA patients, the existing early diagnosis and treatment methods were still insufficient, and a new method was urgently needed to diagnose and treat them. Nucleolar and coiled-body phosphoprotein 1 (NOLC1) was one of the most phosphorylated proteins in the cell, which was located mainly in the nucleolus. In addition, more and more studies have confirmed that NOLC1 plays a crucial role in various pathological processes, such as the occurrence and progression of cancer and viral infection. A previous study showed that NOLC1, as a member of RNA-binding protein, was significantly correlated with the prognosis of THCA patients. However, further exploration of NOLC1 in THCA is limited. To further explore the role of NOLC1 in THCA, we conducted expression and survival prognosis analysis of NOLC1 using multiple databases. We also evaluated the correlation between NOLC1 gene expression and clinical characteristics of THCA patients. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between NOLC1 and other genes, followed by enrichment analysis to investigate its metabolic pathways and molecular metabolism processes. Additionally, we examined the association between immune cell infiltration in tumor microenvironment and NOLC1. Notably, through vitro experiments, we confirmed the tumor suppressive effect of NOLC1 on the proliferation and migration of human THCA cells, providing evidence for clinical diagnosis of THCA. Furthermore, we confirmed the tumor suppressive effect of NOLC1 in vivo xenograft assay. To sum up, our results suggest that NOLC1 is a tumor suppressor gene for THCA.

Keywords: NOLC1; THCA; bioinformatics; biomarker; immune infiltration.