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Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is the major type of lung cancer, which is among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. LIMD1 was previously identified as a tumor suppressor in lung cancer, but their detailed interaction in this setting remains unclear. In this study, we have carried out multiple genome-wide bioinformatic analyses for a comprehensive understanding of LIMD1 in NSCLC, using various online algorithm platforms that have been built for mega databases derived from both clinical and cell line samples. Our results indicate that LIMD1 expression level is significantly downregulated at both mRNA and protein levels in both lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and lung squamous cell carcinoma (LUSC), with a considerable contribution from its promoter methylation rather than its gene mutations. The Limd1 gene undergoes mutation only at a low rate in NSCLC (0.712%). We have further identified LIMD1-associated molecular signatures in NSCLC, including its natural antisense long non-coding RNA LIMD1-AS1 and a pool of membrane trafficking regulators. We have also identified a subgroup of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, especially neutrophils, whose tumor infiltration levels significantly correlate with LIMD1 level in both LUAD and LUSC. However, a significant correlation of LIMD1 with a subset of immune regulatory molecules, such as IL6R and TAP1, was only found in LUAD. Regarding the clinical outcomes, LIMD1 expression level only significantly correlates with the survival of LUAD (p0.1) patients. These findings indicate that LIMD1 plays a survival role in LUAD patients at least by acting as an immune regulatory protein. To further understand the mechanisms underlying the tumor-suppressing function of LIMD1 in NSCLC, we show that LIMD1 downregulation remarkably correlates with the deregulation of multiple pathways that play decisive roles in the oncogenesis of NSCLC, especially those mediated by EGFR, KRAS, PIK3CA, Keap1, and p63, in both LUAD and LUSC, and those mediated by p53 and CDKN2A only in LUAD. This study has disclosed that LIMD1 can serve as a survival prognostic marker for LUAD patients and provides mechanistic insights into the interaction of LIMD1 with NSCLC, which provide valuable information for clinical applications.

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© 2021 Wang, Sparks-Wallace, Casteel, Howell and Ning. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.