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PHLDA2 reshapes the immune microenvironment and induces drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma

KUN FENG1,#, HAO PENG2,#, QINGPENG LV1, YEWEI ZHANG1,*

1 Hepatopancreatobiliary Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 210000, China
2 Medical School, Southeast University, Nanjing, 210000, China

* Corresponding Author: YEWEI ZHANG. Email: email

Oncology Research 2024, 32(6), 1063-1078. https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.047078

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignancy known for its unfavorable prognosis. The dysregulation of the tumor microenvironment (TME) can affect the sensitivity to immunotherapy or chemotherapy, leading to treatment failure. The elucidation of PHLDA2’s involvement in HCC is imperative, and the clinical value of PHLDA2 is also underestimated. Here, bioinformatics analysis was performed in multiple cohorts to explore the phenotype and mechanism through which PHLDA2 may affect the progression of HCC. Then, the expression and function of PHLDA2 were examined via the qRT-PCR, Western Blot, and MTT assays. Our findings indicate a substantial upregulation of PHLDA2 in HCC, correlated with a poorer prognosis. The methylation levels of PHLDA2 were found to be lower in HCC tissues compared to normal liver tissues. Besides, noteworthy associations were observed between PHLDA2 expression and immune infiltration in HCC. In addition, PHLDA2 upregulation is closely associated with stemness features and immunotherapy or chemotherapy resistance in HCC. In vitro experiments showed that sorafenib or cisplatin significantly up-regulated PHLDA2 mRNA levels, and PHLDA2 knockdown markedly decreased the sensitivity of HCC cells to chemotherapy drugs. Meanwhile, we found that TGF-β induced the expression of PHLDA2 in vitro. The GSEA and in vitro experiment indicated that PHLDA2 may promote the HCC progression via activating the AKT signaling pathway. Our study revealed the novel role of PHLDA2 as an independent prognostic factor, which plays an essential role in TME remodeling and treatment resistance in HCC.

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APA Style
FENG, K., PENG, H., LV, Q., ZHANG, Y. (2024). PHLDA2 reshapes the immune microenvironment and induces drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma. Oncology Research, 32(6), 1063-1078. https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.047078
Vancouver Style
FENG K, PENG H, LV Q, ZHANG Y. PHLDA2 reshapes the immune microenvironment and induces drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma. Oncol Res. 2024;32(6):1063-1078 https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.047078
IEEE Style
K. FENG, H. PENG, Q. LV, and Y. ZHANG "PHLDA2 reshapes the immune microenvironment and induces drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma," Oncol. Res., vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 1063-1078. 2024. https://doi.org/10.32604/or.2024.047078



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