Background: Increasing evidence indicated a close relationship between aberrant splicing variants and carcinoma, whereas comprehensive analysis of prognostic alternative splicing (AS) profiling in breast cancer (BRCA) is lacking and largely unknown. Methods: RNA-seq data and corresponding clinical information of BRCA patients were obtained and integrated from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Then SpliceSeq software was used to assess seven AS types and calculate the Percent Spliced In (PSI) value. Univariate followed by stepwise multivariate Cox regression analyses identified survival associated AS events and constructed the AS signature, which were further sent for enrichment analysis, respectively. Besides, the splicing correlation network was constructed. Additionally, nomogram incorporating AS signature and clinicopathological characteristics was developed and its efficacy was evaluated with respect to discrimination, calibration and clinical utility. Results: A total of 45,421 AS events were detected, among which 3071 events were found associated with overall survival (OS) after strict filtering. Parent genes of these prognostic events were involved in BRCA-related processes including NF-kappaB and HIF-1 signaling pathway. Besides, the final prognostic signature built with 20 AS events performed well with an area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve up to 0.957 for 5 years. And gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) also confirmed the candidate 20 AS events contributed to progression of BRCA. Moreover, the nomogram that incorporated 20-AS-event-based classifier, age, pathological stage and Her-2 status showed good calibration and moderate discrimination, with C-index of 0.883 (95% CI, 0.844-0.921). Decision curve analysis (DCA) confirmed more benefit was added to survival prediction with our nomogram, especially in 5 or 8 years with threshold probability up to 80%. Finally, splicing correlation network revealed an obvious regulatory pattern of prognostic splicing factors (SF) in BRCA. Conclusion: This study provided a systematic portrait of survival-Associated AS events involved in BRCA and further presented a AS-clinicopathological nomogram, which could be conveniently used to assist the individualized prediction of long-Term survival probability for BRCA patients. And a series of bioinformatic analysis provided a promising perspective for further uncovering the underlying mechanisms of AS events and validating therapeutic targets for BRCA.
Zhang, D., Duan, Y., Cun, J., & Yang, Q. (2019). Identification of prognostic alternative splicing signature in breast carcinoma. Frontiers in Genetics, 10(MAR). https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00278