Increased IGFBP7 Expression Correlates with Poor Prognosis and Immune Infiltration in Gastric Cancer: An Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis
Background Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-7 (IGFBP7) contributes to multiple biological processes in various tumors. However, the role of IGFBP7 in gastric cancer (GC) is still undetermined. The study aims to explore the role of IGFBP7 in GC via an integrated bioinformatics analysis.Methods IGFBP7 expression levels in GC and its normal gastric tissues were analyzed using multiple databases, including the Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER), Oncomine, The Cancer Genome Atlas
... er Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) databases. The methylation analysis was conducted with MEXPRESS, UALCAN and Xena online tools. The survival analysis was conducted using the Kaplan-Meier Plotter and Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) databases. Coexpressed genes of IGFBP7 were selected with the cBioPortal tool and enrichment analysis was conducted with the clusterProfiler package in R software. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was performed to explore the IGFBP7-related biological processes involved in GC. Correlations between IGFBP7 and immune cell infiltrates were analyzed using the TIMER database.Results IGFBP7 expression was significantly upregulated in GC and correlated with stage, grade, tumor status and Helicobacter pylori infection. High IGFBP7 expression and low IGFBP7 methylation levels were significantly associated with short survival of patients with GC. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that IGFBP7 was an independent risk factor for GC. The coexpressed genes LHFPL6, SEPTIN4, HSPB2, LAYN and GGT5 predicted unfavorable outcomes of GC. Enrichment analysis showed that the coexpressed genes were involved in extracellular matrix (ECM)-related processes. GSEA indicated that IGFBP7 was positively related to ECM and inflammation-related pathways. TIMER analysis indicated that the IGFBP7 expression level was strongly correlated with genes related to various infiltrating immune cells in GC, especially with gene markers of tumor associated macrophages (TAMs).Conclusions We demonstrate that increased IGFBP7 expression correlates with poor prognosis and immune cell infiltration in GC. IGFBP7 might be a potential biomarker for the diagnosis and targeted therapy for GC.