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Transferrin receptor-involved HIF-1 signaling pathway in cervical cancer


Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent gynecologic malignancies and has remained an intractable cancer over the past decades. We analyzed the aberrant expression patterns of cervical cancer using RNA-Seq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). A total of 3352 differently expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in 306 cervical cancer samples compared with 3 control samples, with 1401 genes upregulated and 1951 downregulated. Under Kaplan–Meier analysis, 76 out of these DEGs with a significantly different survival rate between patients with high and low expression groups were picked out and uploaded to perform Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment, which identified a transferrin receptor (TFRC)-involved HIF-1 signaling pathway (p < 0.05). Clinical data analysis showed that high TFRC expression in cervical cancers was associated with incrementally advanced stage, tumor status, and lymph nodes (all p-values <0.05), while multivariate analysis revealed that TFRC remained an independent prognostic variable for poor overall survival. In conclusion, our data indicated that the TFRC-involved HIF-1 signaling pathway may play a crucial role in cervical cancer.

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We thank Juan Chen from CCN department of ZTE for her computer technology support. This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20151096) and the Key Projects of National Health and Family Planning Commission of Nanjing City (ZKX17015) to H.Z. This work was also supported by the Jiangsu Provincial Science and Technology Department (No. BE2012606) to Y.H.

Author contributions

X.X., Y.H., and H.Z. designed the study, checked the data, and prepared the manuscript; T.L. and Y.W. performed data collection and statistical analysis. J.W. searched the literature and took part in the manuscript preparation. Y.H. and H.Z. conceived and supervised the project.

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Correspondence to Ying Hong or Huaijun Zhou.

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