Genetic abnormalities are more frequently viewed as prognostic markers in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in recent years. Fucosylation, catalyzed by fucosyltransferases (FUTs), is a post-translational modification that widely exists in cancer cells. However, the expression and clinical implication of the FUT family (FUT1-11) in AML has not been investigated. From the Cancer Genome Atlas database, a total of 155 AML patients with complete clinical characteristics and FUT1-11 expression data were included in our study. In patients who received chemotherapy alone showed that high expression levels of FUT3, FUT6, and FUT7 had adverse effects on event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) (all P < 0.05), whereas high FUT4 expression had favorable effects on EFS and OS (all P < 0.01). However, in the allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) group, we only found a significant difference in EFS between the high and low FUT3 expression subgroups (P = 0.047), while other FUT members had no effect on survival. Multivariate analysis confirmed that high FUT4 expression was an independent favorable prognostic factor for both EFS (HR = 0.423, P = 0.001) and OS (HR = 0.398, P < 0.001), whereas high FUT6 expression was an independent risk factor for both EFS (HR = 1.871, P = 0.017) and OS (HR = 1.729, P = 0.028) in patients who received chemotherapy alone. Moreover, we found that patients with low FUT4 and high FUT6 expressions had the shortest EFS and OS (P < 0.05). Our study suggests that high expressions of FUT3/6/7 predict poor prognosis, high FUT4 expression indicates good prognosis in AML; FUT6 and FUT4 have the best prognosticating profile among them, but their effects could be neutralized by allo-HSCT.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81500118 and 61501519), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (2016M600443), and Jiangsu Province Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (1701184B).