VPS72, a member of VPS protein family, can be used as a new prognostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma

Vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) plays a crucial role in intracellular molecular transport between organelles. However, studies have indicated a correlation between VPSs and tumorigenesis and the development of several cancers. Nevertheless, the association between VPSs and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unclear. By analyzing databases such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), we investigated the differences in VPSs expression between normal tissue and HCC transcriptomes. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between VPSs expression and overall survival (OS) in patients with HCC. Univariate and multivariate Cox analyses were employed to assess the prognostic value of VPS72 as an independent factor, and the correlation between VPS72 and the tumor immune microenvironment was also analyzed. We observed significant overexpression of 28 VPSs in HCC tissues compared to normal tissues. The mRNA expression of VPSs displayed a negative correlation with OS, while exhibiting a positive correlation with tumor grade and stage. Additionally, both univariate and multivariate Cox analyses identified VPS72 as a potential independent risk factor for HCC prognosis. Overexpression of VPS72 demonstrated a positive correlation with various clinicopathological factors associated with poor prognosis, as well as the infiltration levels of immune cells. Therefore, our research shows that VPSs participate in HCC occurrence and development, especially VPS72, which may act as a potential target for HCC treatment and prognosis biomarker.

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