Co-expression modules construction by WGCNA and identify potential prognostic markers of uveal melanoma

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Uveal melanoma is an aggressive cancer which has a high percentage recurrence and with a worse prognosis. Identify the potential prognostic markers of uveal melanoma may provide information for early detection of recurrence and treatment. RNA sequence data of uveal melanoma and patient clinic traits were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Co-expression modules were built by weighted gene co -expression network analysis (WGCNA) and applied to investigate the relationship underlying modules and clinic traits. Besides, functional enrichment analysis was performed on these co-expression genes from interested modules. First, using WGCNA, identified 21 co-expression modules were constructed by the 10975 genes from the 80 human uveal melanoma samples. The number of genes in these modules ranged from 42 to 5091. Found four co -expression modules significantly correlated with three clinic traits (status, recurrence and recurrence Time). Module red, and purple positively correlated with patient's life status and recurrence Time. Module green positively correlates with recurrence. The result of functional enrichment analysis showed that the module magenta was mainly enriched genetic material assemble processes, the purple module was mainly enriched in tissue homeostasis and melanosome membrane and the module red was mainly enriched metastasis of cell, suggesting its critical role in the recurrence and development of the disease. Additionally, identified the hug gene (top connectivity with other genes) in each module. The hub gene SLC17A7, NTRK2, ABTB1 and ADPRHL1 might play a vital role in recurrence of uveal melanoma. Our findings provided the framework of co-expression gene modules of uveal melanoma and identified some prognostic markers might be detection of recurrence and treatment for uveal melanoma.

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