Characterizing intrinsic molecular features of the immune subtypes of salivary mucoepidermoid carcinoma

Hyundeok Kang, Mi Kyoung Seo, Beum Jin Park, Sun Och Yoon, Yoon Woo Koh, Dahee Kim, Sangwoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Characterizing the tumor microenvironment (TME) and immune landscape of cancer has been a promising step towards discovering new therapeutic biomarkers and guiding precision medicine; however, its application in mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) has been sparse. Here, we conducted a comprehensive study to understand the properties of the TME and immune profiles of MEC. Method: 20 patients with MEC were collected from Yonsei Head and Neck Cancer Centre, Yonsei University, South Korea. Total RNA sequencing was conducted to determine gene expression profiles. Bioinformatic and immunoinformatic analyses were applied to characterize the TME and identify immunophenotypic subgroups, and to investigate the molecular features that explain the distinct phenotypes. Results: The MEC samples were subdivided into two groups, immune hot and immune cold, based on the heterogenous immune cell-infiltration and activation level. The immune-hot subgroup exhibited a higher level of immune activity, including T cell infiltration, cytolytic score, IFN-γ, antigen-presenting machinery, and immune modulator genes. Further characterizing molecular features of two subgroups, downregulation of lipid metabolic regulators, including MLXIPL and FASN, and the migration of chemokines and leukocytes were observed, respectively. And, Group-specific expression of immune checkpoint molecules, such as TIGIT, PD-L2, and CTLA-4, was observed in the immune-hot group, which can be exploited as a potential immunotherapeutic biomarker. Conclusions: Immunophenotypically heterogeneous MEC subgroups analysis has shown distinctive molecular characteristics and provided potential treatment options. These findings yield new insights into TME of MEC and may help next step to study this uncharted cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101496
JournalTranslational Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterizing intrinsic molecular features of the immune subtypes of salivary mucoepidermoid carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this