Abstract

We aimed to develop an HCC classification model based on the integrated gene expression and methylation data of methylation-driven genes. Genome, methylome, transcriptome, proteomics and clinical data of 369 HCC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas Network were retrieved and analyzed. Consensus clustering of the integrated gene expression and methylation data from methylation-driven genes identified 4 HCC subclasses with significant prognosis difference. HS1 was well differentiated with a favorable prognosis. HS2 had high serum α-fetoprotein level that was correlated with its poor outcome. High percentage of CTNNB1 mutations corresponded with its activation in WNT signaling pathway. HS3 was well differentiated with low serum α-fetoprotein level and enriched in metabolism signatures, but was barely involved in immune signatures. HS3 also had high percentage of CTNNB1 mutations and therefore enriched in WNT activation signature. HS4 was poorly differentiated with the worst prognosis and enriched in immune-related signatures, but was barely involved in metabolism signatures. Subsequently, a prediction model was developed. The prediction model had high sensitivity and specificity in distributing potential HCC samples into groups identical with the training cohort. In conclusion, this work sheds light on HCC patient prognostication and prediction of response to targeted therapy.