Research Paper Volume 15, Issue 9 pp 3738—3758

Comprehensive analysis of the oncogenic and immunological role of FAP and identification of the ceRNA network in human cancers

Weiqian Mai1, , Qingyou Liu1, , Jiasheng Li1, , Mincheng Zheng2, , Fuman Yan3, , Hui Liu1, , Yuhe Lei4, , Jinwen Xu2,3, , Jiean Xu2,3, ,

  • 1 School of Medicine, School of Life Science and Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan 528000, China
  • 2 Integrative Medicine Research Center, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, University Town, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • 3 Department of Physiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, University Town, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • 4 Department of Pharmacy, Shenzhen Hospital of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Shenzhen 518034, China

Received: February 2, 2023       Accepted: April 22, 2023       Published: May 9, 2023
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2023 Mai 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.


Fibroblast activation protein-alpha (FAP) is a transmembrane serine protease involving in tissue remodeling. Previous studies report that FAP is highly expressed in certain tumors and participated in oncogenesis. However, there is still lack of systematic and in-depth analysis of FAP based on clinical big data. Here, we comprehensively map the FAP expression profile, prognostic outcome, genetic alteration, immune infiltration across over 30 types of human cancers through multiple datasets including TCGA, CPTAC, and cBioPortal. We find that FAP is up-regulated in most cancer types, and increased FAP expression is associated with advanced pathological stages or poor prognosis in several cancers. Furthermore, FAP is significantly correlated with the infiltration of cancer-associated fibroblasts, macrophages, myeloid dendritic cells, as well as endothelia cells. Immunosuppressive checkpoint proteins or cytokines expression, microsatellite instability and tumor mutational burden analysis also indicate the regulation role of FAP in tumor progression. Gene enrichment analysis demonstrates that ECM-receptor interaction as well as extracellular matrix and structure process are linked to the potential mechanism of FAP in tumor pathogenesis. The ceRNA network is also constructed and identified the involvement of LINC00707/hsa-miR-30e-5p/FAP, LINC02535/hsa-miR-30e-5p/FAP, LINC02535/hsa-miR-30d-5p/FAP, as well as AC026356.1/hsa-miR-30d-5p/FAP axis in tumor progression. In conclusion, our study offers new insights into the oncogenic and immunological role of FAP from a pan-cancer perspective, providing new clues for developing novel targeted anti-tumor strategies.


ACC: Adrenocortical carcinoma; BLCA: Bladder urothelial carcinoma; BRCA: Breast invasive carcinoma; CESC: Cervical squamous cell carcinoma and endocervical adenocarcinoma; CHOL: Cholangiocarcinoma; COAD: Colon adenocarcinoma; DLBC: Lymphoid neoplasm diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; ESCA: Esophageal carcinoma; GBM: Glioblastoma multiforme; HNSC: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; KICH: Kidney chromophobe; KIRC: Kidney renal clear cell carcinoma; KIRP: Kidney renal papillary cell carcinoma; LAML: Acute myeloid leukemia; LGG: Brain lower grade glioma; LIHC: Liver hepatocellular carcinoma; LUAD: Lung adenocarcinoma; LUSC: Lung squamous cell carcinoma; MESO: Mesothelioma; OV: Ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma; PAAD: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma; PCPG: Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma; PRAD: Prostate adenocarcinoma; READ: Rectum adenocarcinoma; SARC: Sarcoma; SKCM: Skin cutaneous melanoma; STAD: Stomach adenocarcinoma; TGCT: Testicular germ cell tumor; THCA: Thyroid carcinoma; THYM: Thymoma; UCEC: Uterine corpus endometrial carcinoma; UCS: Uterine carcinosarcoma; UVM: Uveal melanoma.