Researchers identified caveolin-1 (CAV1) as a potential marker for early diagnosis and prognosis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lung cancer, as published in the Journal of Biosciences.

“The present study exploited a variety of bioinformatics analyses to identify the most noteworthy hub gene CAV1, which may be nurtured as an effective therapeutic target for the early diagnosis and prevention of IPF and lung cancer,” the researchers explained.

Low expressions of CAV1 were associated with unfavorable first progression of lung cancer and overall survival (OS) in patients who had never smoked (n=141). CAV1 expression was lower in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous cell carcinoma than in control tissues. Moreover, it was associated with pathological stages in lung squamous cell carcinoma.


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The researchers also found a positive correlation between CAV1 expression and immune infiltration of cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelial, and neutrophils in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous cell carcinoma. In contrast, they observed a negative correlation between CAV1 expression and immune infiltration of T cell follicular helper.

In addition to CAV1, bioinformatics and network analyses of Gene Expression Omnibus data sets of IPF (n=2) and lung cancer (n=4) revealed 2 other hub genes: TEK receptor tyrosine kinase (TEK) and endomucin (EMCN). The 2 IPF data sets included a total of 53 IPF specimens and 19 controls.

Similar to CAV1, low expression of TEK was associated with unfavorable first progression of lung cancer and OS in patients who had never smoked.

TEK expression levels were also lower in lung adenocarcinoma and lung squamous cell carcinoma tissues when compared to control tissues. On the other hand, low expression of EMCN was only associated with unfavorable first progression of lung cancer.

CAV1 is involved in the regulation of cellular signaling and endocytosis. It has been suggested as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of fibrotic diseases.

Reference

Yin D, Qiu J, Hu S, et al. CAV1 is a prognostic predictor for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. J Biosci. Published online January 27, 2022. doi:10.1007/s12038-021-00245-4