Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 21 pp 22152—22173

Identification of novel prognosis-related genes in the endometrial cancer immune microenvironment

Jian Ma1, , Jing-Kai Zhang1, , Di Yang1, , Xiao-Xin Ma1, ,

  • 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, China

Received: June 18, 2020       Accepted: August 31, 2020       Published: November 6, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Ma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The incidence of endometrial cancer is increasing each year, and treatment effects are poor for patients with advanced and specific subtypes. Exploring immune infiltration-related factors in endometrial cancer can aid in the prognosis of patients and provide new immunotherapy targets. We downloaded immune metagene and functional data of patients with different subtypes of endometrial cancer from The Cancer Genome Atlas database and selected the lymphocyte-specific kinase (LCK) metagene as a representative genetic marker of the immune microenvironment in endometrial cancer. The results showed that LCK metagene expression is related to the prognosis of patients with endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma subtypes and highly correlated with the PTEN and PIK3CA mutational status. A search for LCK-related modules returned seven independent genetic predictors of survival in patients with endometrial cancer. The TIMER algorithm showed that the expression of these seven genes was positively correlated with the infiltration levels of six types of immune cells. The diagnostic value of these markers was validated using real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical methods. Our results identified CD74, HLA-DRB5, CD52, HLA-DPB1 and HLA-DRB1 as possible valuable genetic markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of endometrial cancer and provided a theoretical basis for immunotherapy targets for its clinical treatment.


EC: endometrial cancer; DEGs: differentially expressed genes; ESTIMATE: Estimation of STromal and Immune cells in MAlignant Tumours using Expression data; GO: gene ontology; LCK: lymphocyte-specific kinase; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas; WGCNA: weighted gene co-expression network analysis; ROC: receiver operating characteristic; qRT-PCR: quantitative real-time PCR; NS: non-significance; KM: Kaplan-Meier.