PeerJ. 2023 Aug 30;11:e15814. doi: 10.7717/peerj.15814. eCollection 2023.
Osteosarcoma (OS) is a rare primary malignant bone tumor in adolescents and children with a poor prognosis. The identification of prognostic genes lags far behind advancements in treatment. In this study, we identified differential genes using mRNA microarray analysis of five paired OS tissues. Hub genes, gene set enrichment analysis, and pathway analysis were performed to gain insight into the pathway alterations of OS. Prognostic genes were screened using the Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) dataset, then overlapped with the differential gene dataset. The carboxypeptidase E (CPE) gene, found to be an independent risk factor, was further validated using RT-PCR and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets. Additionally, we explored the specific expression of CPE in OS tissues by reanalyzing single-cell genomics. Interestingly, CPE was found to be co-expressed with osteoblast lineage cell clusters that expressed RUNX2, SP7, SPP1, and IBSP marker genes in OS. These results suggest that CPE could serve as a prognostic factor in osteoblastic OS and should be further investigated as a potential therapeutic target.