Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the expression level of Ras homolog gene family, member A (RhoA) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to investigate the prognostic and diagnostic value of RhoA. Data mining from various data bases and wet experiments on samples from Peking Union Medical College Hospital showed that RhoA mRNA and protein expression were significantly higher in the HCC tissues than in the normal tissues. Higher expression at both the mRNA and protein levels was associated with a poorer prognosis. High sensitivity (92.5%) and specificity (90.0%) were observed in the diagnostic model based on protein level rather than mRNA level. RhoA expression was modulated by genetic amplification. The lysosome, pathogenic Escherichia coli infection, purine metabolism and pyrimidine metabolism pathways were mainly enriched in the high RhoA level group, while the hedgehog signaling, linoleic acid metabolism, olfactory transduction and taste transduction pathways were enriched in the low RhoA level group. RhoA is commonly upregulated in HCC tissues, and its expression at both the mRNA and protein levels is associated with poor prognosis. Notably, RhoA protein levels serve as a diagnostic biomarker for HCC.