Once considered nonfunctional, pseudogene transcripts are now known to provide valuable information for cancer susceptibility, including head and neck cancer (HNC), a serious health problem worldwide, with about 50% unimproved overall survival over the last decades. The present review focuses on the role of pseudogene transcripts involved in HNC risk and prognosis. We combined current literature and in silico analyses from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database to identify the most deregulated pseudogene transcripts in HNC and their genetic variations. We then built a co-expression network and performed gene ontology enrichment analysis to better understand the pseudogenes’ interactions and pathways in HNC. In the literature, few pseudogenes have been studied in HNC. Our in silico analysis identified 370 pseudogene transcripts associated with HNC, where SPATA31D5P, HERC2P3, SPATA31C2, MAGEB6P1, SLC25A51P1, BAGE2, DNM1P47, SPATA31C1, ZNF733P and OR2W5 were found to be the most deregulated and presented several genetic alterations. NBPF25P, HSP90AB2P, ZNF658B and DPY19L2P3 pseudogenes were predicted to interact with 12 genes known to participate in HNC, DNM1P47 was predicted to interact with the TP53 gene, and HLA-H pseudogene was predicted to interact with HLA-A and HLA-B genes. The identified pseudogenes were associated with cancer biology pathways involving cell communication, response to stress, cell death, regulation of the immune system, regulation of gene expression, and Wnt signaling. Finally, we assessed the prognostic values of the pseudogenes with the Kaplan– Meier Plotter database, and found that expression of SPATA31D5P, SPATA31C2, BAGE2, SPATA31C1, ZNF733P and OR2W5 pseudogenes were associated with patients’ survival. Due to pseudogene transcripts’ potential for cancer diagnosis, progression, and as therapeutic targets, our study can guide new research to HNC understanding and development of new target therapies.
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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Co-expression network
- Gene ontology enrichment
- Head and neck cancer
- Pseudogene transcripts
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article