1. Department of Colorectal Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
2. Colorectal Institute of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
3. The First School of Clinical Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.
Colon adenocarcinoma (COAD) is one of the most common carcinomas worldwide. The main causes of cancer-related mortality of COAD are metastases. The fundamental processes for how angiogenesis and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) contributing to tumor progression and metastasis are still uncertain. In our study, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)-COAD dataset (train set) and GSE17536 (test set) were analyzed. Angiogenesis potential index (API) and NETs potential index (NPI) based on angiogenesis and NETs-related genes were respectively built using bioinformatic methods and machine learning algorithms. Subjects were split into groups with low API/NPI or high API/NPI. Survival analysis showed the high API and high NPI patients with the worst survival compared with the others. Between the high API/NPI group and the other groups, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were found. A four-gene signature (TIMP1, FSL3, CALB2, and FABP4) was included in a risk model based on least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) analysis. Additionally, the model displayed a significant association with many immune microenvironment characteristics. Finally, we verified the clinical significance of CALB2 expression and its role to promote the invasion and migration of colon cancer cells in vitro.
Keywords: Colon adenocarcinoma, Angiogenesis, Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), Tumor microenvironment (TME), Prognosis