Background: Glioma is a lethal malignant brain tumor, it comprises about 80% of all malignant brain tumours. Mounting evidence has reported that YTHDF2 plays a significant role in the cancer progression. However, the effects of YTHDF2 on the prognosis of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) and its correlation with tumor immune infiltration are unclear. The present study was designed to determine the biological functions of YTHDF2 in glioma and to evaluate the association of YTHDF2 expression with glioma progression.

Methods: Clinical data on patients with glioma were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the Chinese Glioma Genome Atlas (CGGA), the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), as well as the Rembrandt and Gravendeel databases. The correlations among YTHDF2 expression, pathological characteristics, glioma progression and clinical outcome were evaluated. In addition, the correlation of YTHDF2 expression with immune cell infiltration was analyzed too.

Results: We found that YTHDF2 was significantly up-regulated in LGGs which correlated with tumor grade and poor prognosis. Interestingly, we showed that YTHDF2 expression in LGG was associated with copy number variation, DNA hypomethylation, and induced transcription factor YY1. Besides, KEGG pathway analysis shows that YTHDF2 mainly participates in the immune response and oncogenic signaling pathway. Additionally, YTHDF2 is positively associated with diverse immune cells infiltration, immune cells, and multiple immune checkpoint molecules. Finally, we confirmed that YTHDF2 was highly expressed in LGGs tissues and correlated with the tumor grade with immunohistochemistry assay. More importantly, our results demonstrated that YTHDF2 was elevated in GBM cells. Knockdown of YTHDF2 significantly inhibits the proliferation and migration of GBM cells.

Conclusion: YTHDF2 correlates with glioma progression and immune cell infiltration, suggesting that YTHDF2 may be a useful prognostic biomarker for glioma.