Background: Glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1) which serves as a rate-limiting enzyme involving in the production of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), exists in the GABAergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). Little is known about the relevance of GAD1 to nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Through data mining on a data set derived from a published transcriptome database, this study first identified GAD1 as a differentially upregulated gene in NPC. We aimed to evaluate GAD1 expression and its prognostic effect on patients with early and locoregionally advanced NPC. Methods: We evaluated GAD1 immunohistochemistry and performed an H-score analysis on biopsy specimens from 124 patients with nonmetastasized NPC receiving treatment. GAD1 overexpression was defined as an H score higher than the median value. The findings of such an analysis are correlated with clinicopathological behaviors and survival rates, namely disease-specific survival (DSS), distant-metastasis-free survival (DMeFS), and local recurrence-free survival (LRFS) rates. Results: GAD1 overexpression was significantly associated with an increase in the primary tumor status (p < 0.001) and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stages III-IV (p = 0.002) and was a univariate predictor of adverse outcomes of DSS (p = 0.002), DMeFS (p < 0.0001), and LRFS (p = 0.001). In the multivariate comparison, in addition to advanced AJCC stages III-IV, GAD1 overexpression remained an independent prognosticator of short DSS (p = 0.004, hazard ratio = 2.234), DMeFS (p < 0.001, hazard ratio = 4.218), and LRFS (p = 0.013, hazard ratio = 2.441) rates. Conclusions: Our data reveal that GAD1 overexpression was correlated with advanced disease status and may thus be a critical prognostic indicator of poor outcomes in NPC and a potential therapeutic target to facilitate the development of effective treatment modalities.
- Glutamate acid decarboxylase 1
- Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- γ-aminobutyric acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas