Diagnostic and prognostic biomarker potential of kallikrein family genes in different cancer types

Prashant D. Tailor, Sai Karthik Kodeboyina, Shan Bai, Shruti Sharma, Akshay Ratnani, John A. Copland, Jin-Xiong She, Ashok Kumar Sharma, Nikhil Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare and contrast the expression of all members of the Kallikrein (KLK) family of genes across 15 cancer types and to evaluate their utility as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Results: Severe alterations were found in the expression of different Kallikrein genes across various cancers. Interestingly, renal clear cell and papillary carcinomas have similar kallikrein expression profiles, whereas, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma has a unique expression profile. Several KLK genes have excellent biomarker potential (AUC > 0.90) for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (KLK2, KLK3, KLK4, KLK7, KLK15), renal papillary carcinoma (KLK1, KLK6, KLK7), clear cell renal cell carcinoma (KLK1, KLK6), thyroid carcinoma (KLK2, KLK4, KLK13, KLK15) and colon adenocarcinoma (KLK6, KLK7, KLK8, KLK10). Several KLK genes were significantly associated with mortality in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (KLK2: HR = 1.69; KLK4: HR = 1.63; KLK8: HR = 1.71; KLK10: HR = 2.12; KLK11: HR = 1.76; KLK14: HR = 1.86), papillary renal cell carcinoma (KLK6: HR = 3.38, KLK7: HR = 2.50), urothelial bladder carcinoma (KLK5: HR = 1.89, KLK6: HR = 1.71, KLK8: HR = 1.60), and hepatocellular carcinoma (KLK13: HR = 1.75). Methods: The RNA-seq gene expression data were downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Statistical analyses, including differential expression analysis, receiver operating characteristic curves and survival analysis (Cox proportionalhazards regression models) were performed. Conclusions: A comprehensive analysis revealed the changes in the expression of different KLK genes associated with specific cancers and highlighted their potential as a diagnostic and prognostic tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17876-17888
Number of pages13
Issue number25
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Cancer
  • Gene expression
  • Kallikreins
  • Prognosis
  • TCGA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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