Analysis of Nuclear Encoded Mitochondrial Gene Networks in Cervical Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Manipal School of Life Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal-576104, Karnataka, India.

2 La Rochelle University, Avenue Albert Einstein, 17031, La Rochelle, France.

3 Department of Bioinformatics, Manipal School of Life Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal-576104, Karnataka, India.


Background: Cervical cancer (CC) is one of the most common female cancers in many developing and underdeveloped countries. High incidence, late presentation, and mortality suggested the need for molecular markers. Mitochondrial defects due to abnormal expression of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial genes (NEMG) have been reported during cancer progression. Nevertheless, the application of NEMG for the prognosis of CC is still elusive. Herein, we aimed to investigate the associations between NEMG and CC prognosis. Materials and Methods: The differentially expressed genes (DEG) in the TCGA-CESC dataset and NEMGs were retrieved from TACCO and Mitocarta2.0 databases, respectively. The impact of methylation on NEMG expression were predicted using DNMIVD and UALCAN tools. HCMDB tool was used to predict genes having metastatic potential. The prognostic models were constructed using DNMIVD, TACCO, GEPIA2, and SurvExpress. The functional enrichment analysis (FEA) was performed using clusterProfiler. The protein-protein interaction network (PPIN) was constructed to identify the hub genes (HG) using String and CytoHubba tools. Independent validation of the HG was performed using Oncomine and Human Protein Atlas databases. The druggable genes were predicted using DGIdb. Results: Among the 52 differentially expressed NEMG, 15 were regulated by DNA methylation. The expression level of 16, 10, and 7 has the potential for CC staging, prediction of metastasis, and prognosis. Moreover, 1 driver gene and 16 druggable genes were also identified. The FEA identified the enrichment of cancer-related pathways, including AMPK and carbon metabolism in cancer. The combined expression of 10 HG has been shown to affect patient survival. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the abnormal expression of NEMGs may play a critical role in CC development and progression. The genes identified in our study may serve as a prognostic indicator and therapeutic target in CC.


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