Research Paper Volume 16, Issue 6 pp 5601—5617

WTAP regulates the production of reactive oxygen species, promotes malignant progression, and is closely related to the tumor microenvironment in glioblastoma

Qiankun Ji1, *, , Yazhou Guo1, *, , Zibo Li1, *, , Xiaoyang Zhang1, ,

  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Zhoukou Central Hospital, Zhoukou 466000, Henan, P.R. China
* Equal contribution

Received: July 25, 2023       Accepted: February 13, 2024       Published: March 25, 2024
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2024 Ji et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


RNA modifications have been substantiated to regulate the majority of physiological activities in the organism, including the metabolism of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which plays an important role in cells. As for the effect of RNA modification genes on ROS metabolism in glioblastoma (GBM), it has not been studied yet. Therefore, this study aims to screen the RNA modification genes that are most related to ROS metabolism and explore their effects on the biological behavior of GBM in vitro. Here, an association between WTAP and ROS metabolism was identified by bioinformatics analysis, and WTAP was highly expressed in GBM tissue compared with normal brain tissue, which was confirmed by western blotting and immunohistochemical staining. When using a ROS inducer to stimulate GBM cells in the WTAP overexpression group, the ROS level increased more significantly and the expression levels of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and catalase (CAT) also increased. Next, colony formation assay, wound healing assay, and transwell assay were performed to investigate the proliferation, migration, and invasion of GBM cells. The results showed that WTAP, as an oncogene, promoted the malignant progression of GBM cells. Functional enrichment analysis predicted that WTAP was involved in the regulation of tumor/immune-related functional pathways. Western blotting was used to identify that WTAP had a regulatory effect on the phosphorylation of PI3K/Akt signaling. Finally, based on functional enrichment analysis, we further performed immune-related analysis on WTAP. In conclusion, this study analyzed WTAP from three aspects, which provided new ideas for the treatment of GBM.


GBM: glioblastoma; ROS: reactive oxygen species; TCGA: The Cancer Genomic Atlas; CGGA: Chinese Glioma Genomic Atlas; ssGSEA: single sample gene set enrichment analysis; TME: tumor microenvironment; CNV: copy number variation; DEGs: differential expression genes.