Front Oncol. 2020 Jul 29;10:1088. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.01088. eCollection 2020.
Background: MMP25 is a critical gene of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). However, the molecular mechanism of MMP25 in head and neck cancer pathogenesis remains unclear. Methods: MMP25 expression was analyzed using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, and its influence on clinical prognosis was performed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. The correlation between MMP25 and immune infiltration was investigated by CIBERSORT, TIMER, and ESTIMATE. In addition, the relationship between MMP25 expression and molecular mechanisms was analyzed by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), gene ontology (GO), and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). Results: MMP25 expression level correlated with prognosis and immune infiltrating levels, especially activated CD4+ memory T cells, in head and neck cancer. Moreover, MMP25 expression potentially mediated genes, such as IRF8, IKZF1, and DOCK2, and tumor-associated pathways, including p53 signaling, PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling, and JAK/STAT signaling pathway. Conclusions: These findings suggested that MMP25 plays a critical role in the prognosis and immune infiltration level of head and neck cancer. In addition, MMP25 expression significantly correlated with the regulation of various oncogenes and tumor-related pathways.