Research Paper Volume 14, Issue 23 pp 9550—9578

Comprehensive analysis of prognostic value, relationship to cell cycle, immune infiltration and m6A modification of ZSCAN20 in hepatocellular carcinoma

Fang Jiayu1,2, *, , Yike Jiang2, *, , Xuanrui Zhou2, , Minqin Zhou2, , Jingying Pan2, , Yun Ke2, , Jing Zhen2, , Da Huang3, , Weifan Jiang4, ,

  • 1 Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
  • 2 Second College of Clinical Medicine, Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
  • 3 Department of Thyroid Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
  • 4 Department of Urology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
* Equal contribution

Received: May 25, 2022       Accepted: September 17, 2022       Published: December 3, 2022
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2022 Jiayu 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.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common tumor across the globe with a high mortality rate. ZSCAN20 is a ZNF transcription factor, a key determinant of gene expression. Nonetheless, the mechanism of ZSCAN20 as a potential clinical biomarker and therapeutic target for HCC is not understood. Here, TIMER, TCGA, ICGC databases and immunohistochemical (IHC) and Western Blot found ZSCAN20 mRNA and protein levels were upregulated. Additionally, Kaplan-Meier Plotter, GEPIA and TCGA databases showed high ZSCAN20 expression was related to the short survival time of HCC patients. Multivariate Cox analysis exposed that ZSCAN20 can act as an independent prognostic factor. We observed methylation level of ZSCAN20 was associated with the clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis of HCC patients through UALCAN. Furthermore, enrichment examination exposed functional association between ZSCAN20 and cell cycle, immune infiltration. Functional experiments showed that interference with ZSCAN20 significantly reduced the invasion, migration and proliferation abilities of HCC cells. An immune infiltration analysis showed that ZSCAN20 was associated with immune cells, particularly T cells. The expression of ZSCAN20 was correlated with poor prognosis in the Regulatory T-cell. And Real-Time RT-PCR analysis found interference with ZSCAN20 significantly reduced the expression of some chemokines. Finally, the TCGA and ICGC data analysis suggested that the ZSCAN20 expression was greatly related to m6A modifier related genes. In conclusion, ZSCAN20 can serve as a prognostic biomarker for HCC and provide clues about cell cycle, immune infiltration, and m6A modification.


HCC: Hepatocellular carcinoma; ZSCAN20: Zinc Finger And SCAN Domain Containing 20; TIMER: Tumor Immune Estimation Resource; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas; ICGC: International Cancer Genome Consortium; GO: Gene Ontology; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; GSEA: Gene Set Enrichment Analysis; PPI: protein-protein interaction; TIIC: Tumor infiltrating immune cells; AFP: Alpha Fetoprotein; CNV: copy number variation.