Research Paper Volume 14, Issue 20 pp 8411—8436

ZNF320 is a hypomethylated prognostic biomarker involved in immune infiltration of hepatocellular carcinoma and associated with cell cycle

Jing Zhen1,2, *, , Yun Ke2, *, , Jingying Pan2, *, , Minqin Zhou2, , Hong Zeng2, , Gelin Song2, , Zichuan Yu2, , Bidong Fu2, , Yue Liu2, , Da Huang3, , Honghu Wu4, &, ,

  • 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 Science and Technology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China
* Equal contribution

Received: June 30, 2022       Accepted: October 3, 2022       Published: October 26, 2022
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2022 Zhen 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 one of the most deadly and common malignant cancers around the world, and the prognosis of HCC patients is not optimistic. ZNF320 belongs to Krüppel like zinc finger gene family. However, no studies have focused on the influence of ZNF320 in HCC. We first analyzed ZNF320 expression in HCC by using data from TCGA and ICGC, then conducted a joint analysis with TIMER and UALCAN, and validated by immunohistochemistry in clinical HCC samples. Then we applied UALCAN to explore the correlation between ZNF320 expression and clinicopathological characteristics. Consequently, using Kaplan-Meier Plotter analysis and the Cox regression, we can predict the prognostic value of ZNF320 for HCC patients. Next, the analysis by GO, KEGG, and GSEA revealed that ZNF320 was significantly correlated to cell cycle and immunity. Finally, TIMER and GEPIA analysis verified that ZNF320 expression is closely related to tumor infiltrating immune cells (TIIC), including B cells, CD8+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells. The analysis of the TCGA and ICGC data sets revealed that ZNF320 expression was significantly correlated with m6A related genes (RBMX, YTHDF1, and METTL3). In conclusion, ZNF320 may be a prognostic biomarker related to immunity as a candidate for liver cancer.


HCC: Hepatocellular carcinoma; ZNF320: Zinc Finger Protein 320; TIMER: Tumor Immune Estimation Resource; TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas; GO: Gene Ontology; KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes; GSEA: Gene Set Enrichment Analysis; PPI: protein-protein interaction; TIIC: Tumor infiltrating immune cells.