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The value of CDC42 effector protein 2 as a novel prognostic biomarker in liver hepatocellular carcinoma: a comprehensive data analysis.

BACKGROUND: The prognostic significance of CDC42 effector protein 2 (CDC42EP2) and its association with tumor-infiltrating immune cells (TIICs) have not been explored in liver hepatocellular carcinoma (LIHC). This study aims to assess the potential prognostic value of CDC42EP2 by conducting a comprehensive analysis of online databases pertaining to LIHC.

METHODS: We evaluated the potential of CDC42EP2 as a prognostic biomarker by utilizing online databases such as TIMER, GEPIA2, KM, OSlihc, HPA, and LinkedOmics.

RESULTS: In LIHC, we observed that the mRNA and protein expression of CDC42EP2 were upregulated compared to normal tissues. Upregulated CDC42EP2 expression was associated with a worse prognosis based on the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with LIHC. Furthermore, CDC42EP2 was positively associated with TIICs. In the co-expression and functional enrichment analyses of CDC42EP2, 11,416 genes showed positive associations with CDC42EP2 while 8,008 genes showed negative associations. CDC42EP2-related co-expression genes were involved in protein localization to the endoplasmic reticulum, translational initiation, and RNA catabolic processes in gene set enrichment analysis-Gene Ontology (GSEAGO), and regulated the ribosome, spliceosome, and primary immune deficiency in the GSEAKyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway. In a survival map, 23 and 17 genes that exhibited positive associations with CDC42EP2 showed a significant hazard ratio (HR) for overall survival and disease-free survival, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrated that CDC42EP2 is a novel prognostic biomarker and a potential tumor immune therapeutic target in patients with LIHC.

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