Tumor Etiology and Screening Department of Cancer Institute and General Surgery, the First Hospital of China Medical University, and Key Laboratory of Cancer Etiology and Prevention (China Medical University), Liaoning Provincial Education Department, Shenyang 110001, China.
Background: Emerging evidence suggested that aberrant alternative splicing (AS) is pervasive event in development and progression of cancer. However, the information of aberrant splicing events involved in colorectal carcinogenesis and progression is still elusive.
Materials and Methods: In this study, splicing data of 499 colon adenocarcinoma cases (COAD) and 176 rectum adenocarcinoma (READ) with clinicopathological information were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to explore the changes of alternative splicing events in relation to the carcinogenesis and prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC). Gene interaction network construction, functional and pathway enrichment analysis were performed by multiple bioinformatics tools.
Results: Overall, most AS patterns were more active in CRC tissues than adjacent normal ones. We detected altogether 35391 AS events of 9084 genes in COAD and 34900 AS events of 9032 genes in READ, some of which were differentially spliced between cancer tissues and normal tissues including genes of SULT1A2, CALD1, DTNA, COL12A1 and TTLL12. Differentially spliced genes were enriched in biological process including muscle organ development, cytoskeleton organization, actin cytoskeleton organization, biological adhesion, and cell adhesion. The integrated predictor model of COAD showed an AUC of 0.805 (sensitivity: 0.734; specificity: 0.756) while READ predictor had an AUC of 0.738 (sensitivity: 0.614; specificity: 0.900). In addition, a number of prognosis-associated AS events were discovered, including genes of PSMD2, NOL8, ALDH4A1, SLC10A7 and PPAT.
Conclusion: We draw comprehensive profiles of alternative splicing events in the carcinogenesis and prognosis of CRC. The interaction network and functional connections were constructed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of alternative splicing in CRC.
Keywords: alternative splicing, colorectal cancer, carcinogenesis, prognosis.