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Identification of potential crucial genes associated with the pathogenesis and prognosis of liver hepatocellular carcinoma
  1. Laner Shi,
  2. Xin Shang,
  3. Kechao Nie,
  4. Zhiqin Lin,
  5. Meisi Zheng,
  6. Miao Wang,
  7. Haoyu Yuan,
  8. Zhangzhi Zhu
  1. Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zhangzhi Zhu, Department of Endocrinology, The First Affiliated Hospitalof Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China; zzz{at}


Aims Liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC) is the main manifestation of primary liver cancer, with low survival rate and poor prognosis. Medical decision-making process of LIHC is so complex that new biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis have yet to be explored, this study aimed to identify the genes involved in the pathophysiology of LIHC and biomarkers that can be used to predict the prognosis of LIHC.

Methods Six Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets selected from GEO were screened and integrated to find out the differential expression genes (DEGs) obtained from LIHC and normal hepatic tissues. The Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analysis of DEGs was implemented by DAVID. The Protein–protein interaction network was performed via STRING. In addition, Cox regression model was used to construct a gene prognostic signature.

Results We ascertained 10 hub genes, nine of them (CDK1, CDC20, CCNB1, Thymidylate synthetase, Nuclear division cycle80, NUF2, MAD2L1, CCNA2 and BIRC5) as biomarkers of progression in LIHC patients. We also build a six gene prognosis signature (SOCS2, GAS2L3, NLRP5, TAF3, UTP11 and GAGE2A), which can be implemented to predict over survival effectively.

Conclusions We revealed promising genes that may participate in the pathophysiology of LIHC, and found available biomarkers for LIHC prognosis prediction, which were significant for researchers to further understand the molecular basis of LIHC and direct the synthesis medicine of LIHC.

  • biomarkers
  • tumor
  • carcinoma
  • liver neoplasms
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  • LS and XS are Co-first authors.

  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors LS, XS and ZZ advance the research direction and method. LS, XS, KN, MZ, ZL, HY and MW conceived and designed the study. LS, XS and KN drafted the manuscript, analysed the data, developed the algorithm and interpreted the results. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work is supported by Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 81 873 190).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available in a public, open access repository. Data are available on reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information. The datasets (GEO data) and (TCGA LIHC data) for this study can be found in the GEO ( and TCGA (

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