Background: Colon adenocarcinoma (COAD) is a highly heterogeneous disease, which is the second most common cancer in females and third in males. Collagen type I alpha 2 (COL1A2) has been documented to be involved in the carcinogenesis of multiple tumors; however, the expression and prognostic significance of COL1A2 and its underlying mechanism in COAD remains unclarified.

Materials and Methods: The general profile of COL1A2, its expression pattern, and prognostic value were systematically assessed through various bioinformatics tools. The protein level of COL1A2 was verified in COAD patients using immunohistochemistry analysis. In addition, enrichment analyses were performed to explore the possible regulatory pathways of COL1A2 in COAD.

Results: The mRNA and protein levels of COL1A2 were significantly increased in COAD than that in normal tissues (P < 0.05). The COL1A2 expression tended to increase along with cancer stages and nodal metastasis status in COAD, while the promoter methylation levels of COL1A2 might negatively related to its mRNA expression. Survival analysis showed that COL1A2 was a reliable predictor for distinguishing the status of disease-specific survival (DSS), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS), and might serve as a robust independent prognostic biomarker for DSS and OS in COAD patients (P < 0.05). The enrichment analysis showed focal adhesion as the most possible regulatory pathway by COL1A2.

Conclusion: Collectively, COL1A2 functioned as an independent prognostic biomarker and might be a potential therapeutic target in COAD.