Clinical significance and oncogenic function of NR1H4 in clear cell renal cell carcinoma

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Background: Nuclear receptor subfamily 1 group H member 4 (NR1H4) have been reported in various cancer types, however, little is known about the clinical values and biological function in clear cell Renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Methods: The expression pattens of NR1H4 in ccRCC were investigated in clinical specimens, cell lines and publicly‑available databases. Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8), colony formation, 5-ethynyl-2' -deoxyuridine (EdU), transwell and cell wound healing assays were performed to assess the biological functions of NR1H4 in 786-O ccRCC cells. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), Flow Cytometry, quantitative real‐time PCR (qRT-PCR), western blot and immunofluorescence were performed to explore the molecular mechanism of NR1H4 in ccRCC. We explored the early diagnostic value, prognostic value, genetic mutation and DNA methylation of NR1H4 by a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis based on the data published in the following databases: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Kaplan‐Meier Plotter, Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA), UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA CRUZ Xena (UCSC Xena), cBio Cancer Genomics Portal, MethSurv, SurvivalMeth and The University of ALabama at Birmingham CANcer data analysis Portal (UALCAN). Its correlation with tumor-infiltrating immune cells in ccRCC was analyzed by Tumor Immune Estimation Resource 2.0 (TIMER2.0) and Tumor Immune System Interactions Database (TISIDB). Results: In this study, NR1H4 was found to be highly expressed in ccRCC tissues and ccRCC cell lines. Knockdown of NR1H4 significantly suppressed cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Mechanistically, tumor‐associated signaling pathways were enriched in the NR1H4 overexpression group and si-NR1H4 could induce the downregulation of Cyclin E2 (CCNE2). By bioinformatics analysis, NR1H4 was identified as highly expressed in stage I ccRCC with a high diagnostic accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve > 0.8). Genetic alteration and DNA methylation of NR1H4 were significantly associated with prognosis in ccRCC patients. Moreover, NR1H4 expression associated with immune cell infiltration levels in ccRCC, which provides a new idea for immunotherapy. Conclusions: Our study indicated that NR1H4 might be a potential tumor biomarker and therapeutic target for ccRCC which could promote cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion via regulating CCNE2.




Huang, S., Hou, Y., Hu, M., Hu, J., & Liu, X. (2022). Clinical significance and oncogenic function of NR1H4 in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. BMC Cancer, 22(1).

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