Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 19 pp 23020—23035

DCP1A is an unfavorable prognostic-related enhancer RNA in hepatocellular carcinoma

Hao Wu1, *, , Jinrui Zhang1, *, , Yi Bai2, , Sai Zhang3, , Zhixin Zhang1, , Wen Tong1, , Pinsheng Han1, , Bing Fu1, , Yamin Zhang2, , Zhongyang Shen3, ,

  • 1 First Central Clinic Institute, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China
  • 2 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Tianjin First Central Hospital, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin, China
  • 3 Organ Transplant Center, Tianjin First Central Hospital, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin, China
* Equal contribution

Received: July 7, 2021       Accepted: September 20, 2021       Published: October 4, 2021
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2021 Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are associated with occurrence and development of tumors. Enhancer RNA (eRNA) is a special type of lncRNAs produced from transcription of enhancer elements. The function of eRNAs in tumors have elicited significant attention recently. However, the clinical significance and role of eRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been fully explored. The current study sought to explore the expression level and prognostic value of key eRNAs in HCC. Bioinformatics analyses were used to explore expression levels of key prognostic eRNAs in HCC and their correlation with target genes. A total of 1580 enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) and 1791 target genes were initially retrieved from TCGA-LIHC gene expression database. Further analysis through survival and correlation analysis led to identification of 12 eRNAs and 13 target genes. The findings showed that DCP1A was the most prognosis-related eRNA. This eRNA showed the highest correlation with the target gene, PRKCD. Analysis showed that poor overall survival (OS) in HCC patients was correlated with high expression level of DCP1A (eRNA) and PRKCD (target gene). The up-regulation of DCP1A was associated with advanced tumor stage, larger tumor size and higher histological grade. The results of pan-cancer analysis showed that the expression of DCP1A was differentially expressed in 13 other types of tumor tissues and their corresponding normal tissues. This eRNA was highly expressed in digestive system tumors. Functional analysis showed that high expression level of DCP1A was implicated in multiple tumor-related signaling pathways. The findings of the current study indicated DCP1A is a novel biomarker that can be used as a potential therapeutic target for HCC patients.


HCC: Hepatocellular Carcinoma; lncRNAs: Long non-coding RNAs; eRNA: enhancer RNA; DCP1A: The mRNA-decapping enzymes 1a; GSEA: Gene set enrichment analysis; CHOL: cholangiocarcinoma; COAD: colon adenocarcinoma; ESCA: esophageal carcinoma; STAD: stomach adenocarcinoma; BLCA: bladder urothelial carcinoma; BRCA: breast invasive carcinoma; KICH: kidney chromophobe; LUAD: lung adenocarcinoma; PRAD: prostate adenocarcinoma; THCA: thyroid carcinoma; LUSC: lung squamous cell carcinoma; UCEC: uterine corpus endometrial carcinoma; ACC: adrenocortical carcinoma; UCS: uterine carcinosarcoma; LGG: brain lower grade glioma; KIRC: kidney renal clear cell carcinoma; READ: rectum adenocarcinoma.