Research Paper Volume 12, Issue 23 pp 23931—23944

Clinical and prognostic pan-cancer analysis of m6A RNA methylation regulators in four types of endocrine system tumors

Kai Li1,2,3,4, *, , Haiqing Luo4, *, , Hui Luo2,3, , Xiao Zhu1,2,3, ,

  • 1 Guangdong Key Laboratory for Research and Development of Natural Drugs, The Marine Biomedical Research Institute, Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang 524023, Guangdong, China
  • 2 The Marine Biomedical Research Institute of Guangdong Zhanjiang, Zhanjiang 524023, Guangdong, China
  • 3 Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory Zhanjiang, Zhanjiang 524023, Guangdong, China
  • 4 Cancer Center, Affiliated Hospital, Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang 24023, Guangdong, China
* Equal contribution

Received: July 24, 2020       Accepted: August 28, 2020       Published: November 20, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Li 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.


N6-methyladenosine (m6A), internal modification of mRNA, has recently been reported to be an important regulatory mechanism affecting tumor proliferation. However, its role in endocrine system tumors is poorly understood. We obtained datasets for four types tumors from the TCGA database, analyzed the GTEx database as a supplement to the control group, and used “Perl” and “R” software to analyze the datasets. Then we differentiated the expression level, used it to cluster consensus. Besides, we established lasso regression model to screen variables, used univariate and multivariate cox analyses to explore the independent risk factors associated with cancer prognosis. The results indicated that except for WTAP, the expression level of METTL3 was negatively correlated with other genes. The expression level of WTAP and METTL16 was positively correlated with overall survival (OS). Moreover, we found that different clinical subtypes of adrenal cortical carcinoma had significant differences in survival status, histologic grading, pathological T grade, and OS. Furthermore, different clinical subtypes of thyroid carcinoma had significant differences in histologic grading and pathological T grade. The differential expression of m6A regulatory genes is closely associated with the presence of endocrine-system-related tumors, and risk scores can be used to assess prognosis.


ACC: Adrenal cortical carcinoma; PCPG: Pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma; THCA: Thyroid carcinoma; THYM: Thymoma; HCC: Hepatocellular carcinoma; METTL3: Methyltransferase-Like 3; METTL14: Methyltransferase-Like 14; METTL16: Methyltransferase-like 16; WTAP: Wilms Tumor 1- Associated Protein; RBM15: RNA binding motif protein 15; RBM15B: RNA binding motif protein 15B; ZC3H13: domain-containing protein 13; CBLL1: cbl proto-oncogene like 1; ZC3H13: zinc finger CCCH-type containing 13; KIAA1429: vir-Like m6A methyltransferase associated; FTO: obesity-associated protein; ALKBH5: αketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase alkB homolog 5; YTHDF1/2/3: YTH domain family 1/2/3; YTHDC1/2: YTH domain containing1/2; IGF2BP1/2/3: insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding proteins 1/2/3; HNRNPA2B1: heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1; HNRNPC: heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C; ZNF217: Zinc finger gene217; RBMX: RNA binding motif protein X-linked; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas; GTEx: Genotype-Tissue Expression; LASSO: least absolute shrinkage and selection operator; ROC: receiver operating characteristic; OS: overall survival; m6A: N6-methyladenosine.