Background: Lung cancer is the first fatality rate of cancer-related death worldwide. This study aimed to evaluate the solute carrier family 39 (SLC39A) genes as biological markers associated with the prognosis of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD).

Methods and materials: MRNA expression of SLC39A genes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was analyzed using UCSC database. We investigated the overall survival (OS) of SLC39A genes in patients with NSCLC as the only prognostic indicator using the Kaplan-Meier plotter. CERES score obtained from the Project Achilles was used to perform the survival analysis. Crystal violet-glutaraldehyde solution staining and CCK-8 assay were used to determine colony formation and cell viability, respectively.

Results: For patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma, only high expression of SLC39A3, SLC39A4 and SLC39A7 have significant affections to the prognosis. But for patients with LUAD, 11 out of 14 SLC39A genes were significantly associated with prognostic values. Additional analysis indicated that SLC39A7 played an essential role for cell survival of LUAD. Furthermore, SLC39A7 high expression in LUAD was associated with current smoking.

Conclusions: Our findings indicated that SLC39A groups were significantly associated with prognosis of LUAD. The SLC39A7 gene was significantly linked with survival and growth of LUAD cells.