Abstract

Some lncRNAs can encode small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), called small nucleolar RNA host genes (SNHGs), which have exerted certain predictive values for the prognosis of some cancer patients. In this study, using RNA-seq and survival data in TCGA-KIRC, we examined the expression profile of 20 SNHGs and explored their prognostic values in ccRCC. Results showed that SNHG1, GAS5, SNHG3-8, SNHG11, SNHG12, SNHG15-17, SNHG20, SNHG22 and SNHG25 were significantly upregulated in ccRCC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. After adjustment for confounding factors, the multivariate analysis confirmed that increased SNHG3 expression was independently associated with shorter OS, while increased SNHG15 expression was an independent predictor of shorter RFS. Using the methylation data, the methylation status of 2 CpG sites (cg07807470 and cg15161854) and 2 CpG sites (cg00953154 and cg16459265) were negatively correlated with SNHG3 and SNHG15 expression, respectively. Moreover, low methylation levels of the 4 CpG sites were significantly associated with shorter OS. Furthermore, we validated the expression patterns, methylation status and prognostic value of SNHG3 and SNHG15 using clinical ccRCC samples. Taken together, SNHG3 and SNHG15 might be valuable prognostic markers in ccRCC, and DNA hypomethylation might play an important role in elevated SNHG3 and SNHG15 transcription in ccRCC.