News Release

Krüppel-like factor 4, a potential therapeutic agent for colorectal cancer: A bioinformatics analysis

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Xia & He Publishing Inc.

Background and objectives

Colorectal cancer is one of the most significant and deadliest malignant tumors among various types of cancers. Due to its generally low overall survival rate, the development of new treatment strategies for early detection and diagnosis, as well as the identification of prognostic markers, has become exceedingly crucial. The molecular mechanism of colorectal cancer remains uncertain and to address this, the aim is to identify key genes, determine in which pathways these genes are involved, explore their interactions with regulatory molecules, and investigate their overall relationship with survival and immune cell infiltration.

 

Methods

After selecting the databases related to colorectal cancer from the Gene Expression Omnibus database, differentially expressed genes were identified. Gene ontology and pathway analyses were then conducted for these genes, and interaction networks with proteins were constructed. Core genes were identified, and their relationship with regulatory molecules such as miRNAs and transcription factors was examined. Additionally, immune cell infiltration and survival analyses were performed.

 

Results

As a result of the bioinformatic analyses, 71 differentially expressed genes were identified, which were found to overlap in four distinct microarray datasets. Among these differentially expressed genes, Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), CLCA4, GUCA2B, GUCA2A, LGR5, SLC4A4, ZG16, CA7, CA2, and GCG were determined as hub genes. Among the hub genes, CA2, CLCA4, SLC4A4, and KLF4 genes showed a positive correlation with immune cells in immune cell infiltration analyses. The expression levels of these four genes were also confirmed using data from the Human Protein Atlas database. Additionally, only the KLF4 gene was associated with poor prognosis in overall survival analyses.

 

Conclusions

This study analyzed multiple datasets from the GEO database to identify differentially expressed genes and interaction networks in CRC. Hub genes were identified, and their potential as biomarkers was explored through immune cell infiltration analysis and overall survival analysis. The bioinformatics analyses highlighted the KLF4 gene as a strong candidate for potential drug targets and a biomarker in CRC patients. However, further in vitro and in vivo experiments are needed to validate the KLF4 gene as a molecular biomarker. Considering the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of CRC pathogenesis, small-molecule inhibitors designed to target the KLF4 gene in pre-cancerous lesions may prove to be an effective strategy. Furthermore, understanding the molecular mechanism of the KLF4 gene could lay a strong foundation for the development of new treatment approaches in CRC.

 

https://www.xiahepublishing.com/1555-3884/GE-2023-00088

 

The study was recently published in the Gene Expression.

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