Researchers investigated the role of a protein in the molecules interacting with CasL (MICAL) family, MICAL-like protein 2 (MICAL-L2), in patients with colon adenocarcinoma (COAD). Using public databases, co-lead authors Yixing Yang and Fengwen Ye and colleagues investigated expression levels of MICAL-L2, and proposed that their data “suggested that MICAL-L2 is a promising biomarker for determining prognosis and correlated with immune infiltration levels in COAD.” Their findings were published in BMC Cancer.
MICAL-L2 in COAD Study Design
The investigators used TCGA, UALCAN, and independent immunohistochemically arrays to measure mRNA and protein expression. The Kaplan-Meier method was utilized to assess associations between protein expression and overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) in patients with COAD, and further uni- and multivariable analysis were performed to evaluate prognostic utility for predicting OS. Researchers also performed Gene Ontology, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes, and gene set enrichment analysis.
Based on their analyses of the TCGA, HPA, and UALCAN data, the authors observed that MICAL-L2 expression was “significantly higher” in COAD tissue compared to adjacent normal tissue. The survival analysis indicated that patients with MICAL-L2 expression had worse OS and DSS outcomes. “Multivariate Cox analysis indicated that MICAL-L2 was an independent risk factor for OS in COAD patients,” the authors noted, “and a prognostic nomogram involving age, M stage, and MICAL-L2 expression was constructed for OS.” Additional findings included a close association between transport-related activity and MICAL-L2 in patients with COAD, as well as a positive association between expression and CD56bright NK cells.
In closing, the authors proposed that “the results obtained in this study provide promising clues for a new mechanistic connection between MICAL-L2 expression and prognosis in COAD patients,” though they acknowledged that validation and further research is needed.
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