Multi-Omics Analysis Reveals the IFI6 Gene as a Prognostic Indicator and Therapeutic Target in Esophageal Cancer

Nguyen Kieu Viet-Nhi, Tran Minh Quan, Vu Cong Truc, Tran Anh Bich, Pham Hoang Nam, Nguyen Quoc Khanh Le, Po Yueh Chen, Shih Han Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of the IFI6 gene has been described in several cancers, but its involvement in esophageal cancer (ESCA) remains unclear. This study aimed to identify novel prognostic indicators for ESCA-targeted therapy by investigating IFI6’s expression, epigenetic mechanisms, and signaling activities. We utilized public data from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to analyze IFI6’s expression, clinical characteristics, gene function, pathways, and correlation with different immune cells in ESCA. The TIMER2.0 database was employed to assess the pan-cancer expression of IFI6, while UALCAN was used to examine its expression across tumor stages and histology subtypes. Additionally, the KEGG database helped identify related pathways. Our findings revealed 95 genes positively correlated and 15 genes negatively correlated with IFI6 in ESCA. IFI6 was over-expressed in ESCA and other cancers, impacting patient survival and showing higher expression in tumor tissues than normal tissues. IFI6 was also correlated with CD4+ T cells and B cell receptors (BCRs), both essential in immune response. GO Biological Process (GO BP) enrichment analysis indicated that IFI6 was primarily associated with the Type I interferon signaling pathway and the defense response to viruses. Intriguingly, KEGG pathway analysis demonstrated that IFI6 and its positively correlated genes in ESCA were mostly linked to the Cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway, which plays a crucial role in innate immunity and viral defense, and the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) signaling pathway, which detects viral infections and activates immune responses. Pathways related to various viral infections were also identified. It is important to note that our study relied on online databases. Given that ESCA consists of two distinct subgroups (ESCC and EAC), most databases combine them into a single category. Future research should focus on evaluating IFI6 expression and its impact on each subgroup to gain more specific insights. In conclusion, inhibiting IFI6 using targeted therapy could be an effective strategy for treating ESCA considering its potential as a biomarker and correlation with immune cell factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2691
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • bioinformatics
  • esophageal cancer
  • gene expression
  • IFI6
  • multi-omics analysis
  • prognostic indicators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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