Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 2 pp 2480—2505

Integrated bioinformatic analysis of RNA binding proteins in hepatocellular carcinoma

Ling Wang1, *, , Zhen Zhang2,3, *, , Yuan Li1, , Yanyan Wan1, , Baocai Xing1, &, ,

  • 1 Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research, Ministry of Education, Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery Department I, Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute, Beijing 100142, China
  • 2 Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing 100044, China
  • 3 Laboratory of Surgical Oncology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Research, Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing 100044, China
* Equal contribution

Received: June 8, 2020       Accepted: November 3, 2020       Published: December 19, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Wang 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.


RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are aberrantly expressed in a tissue-specific manner across many tumors. These proteins, which play a vital role in post-transcriptional gene regulation, are involved in RNA splicing, maturation, transport, stability, degradation, and translation. We set out to establish an accurate risk score model based on RBPs to estimate prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). RNA-sequencing data, proteomic data and corresponding clinical information were acquired from the Cancer Genome Atlas database and the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium database respectively. We identified 406 differentially expressed RBPs between HCC tumor and normal tissues at the transcriptional and protein level. Overall, 11 RBPs (BRIX1, DYNC1H1, GTPBP4, PRKDC, RAN, RBM19, SF3B4, SMG5, SPATS2, TAF9, and THOC5) were selected to establish a risk score model. We divided HCC patients into low-risk and high-risk groups based on the median of risk score values. The survival analysis indicated that patients in the high-risk group had poorer overall survival compared to patients in the low-risk group. Our study demonstrated that 11 RBPs were associated with the overall survival of HCC patients. These RBPs may represent potential drug targets and can help optimize future clinical treatment.


HCC: Hepatocellular carcinoma; LIHC: Liver hepatocellular carcinoma; RBPs: RNA binding proteins; PPI: Protein-Protein Interaction; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas; CPTAC: the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium.