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High WHSC1L1 Expression Reduces Survival Rates in Operated Breast Cancer Patients with Decreased CD8+ T Cells: Machine Learning Approach

Nuclear receptor-binding SET domain protein (NSD), a histone methyltransferase, is known to play an important role in cancer pathogenesis. The WHSC1L1 (Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome candidate 1-like 1) gene, encoding NSD3, is highly expressed in breast cancer, but its role in the development of breast cancer is still unknown. The purpose of this study was to analyze the survival rates and immune responses of breast cancer patients with high WHSC1L1 expression and to validate the results using gradient boosting machine (GBM) in breast cancer. We investigated the clinicopathologic parameters, proportions of immune cells, pathway networks and in vitro drug responses according to WHSC1L1 expression in 456, 1500 and 776 breast cancer patients from the Hanyang University Guri Hospital, METABRIC and TCGA, respectively. High WHSC1L1 expression was associated with poor prognosis, decreased CD8+ T cells and high CD274 expression (encoding PD-L1). In the pathway networks, WHSC1L1 was indirectly linked to the regulation of the lymphocyte apoptotic process. The GBM model with WHSC1L1 showed improved prognostic performance compared with the model without WHSC1L1. We found that VX-11e, CZC24832, LY2109761, oxaliplatin and erlotinib were effective in inhibiting breast cancer cell lines with high WHSC1L1 expression. High WHSC1L1 expression could play potential roles in the progression of breast cancer and targeting WHSC1L1 could be a potential strategy for the treatment of breast cancer.

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