Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) and ARS-interacting multifunctional proteins (AIMPs) exhibit remarkable functional versatility beyond their catalytic activities in protein synthesis. Their non-canonical functions have been pathologically linked to cancers. Here we described our integrative genome-wide analysis of ARSs to show cancer-associated activities in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor. We first selected 23 ARS/AIMPs (together referred to as ARSN), 124 cancer-associated druggable target genes (DTGs) and 404 protein-protein interactors (PPIs) of ARSs using NCI's cancer gene index. 254 GBM affymetrix microarray data in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used to identify the probe sets whose expression were most strongly correlated with survival (Kaplan-Meier plots versus survival times, log-rank t-test <0.05). The analysis identified 122 probe sets as survival signatures, including 5 of ARSN (VARS, QARS, CARS, NARS, FARS), and 115 of DTGs and PPIs (PARD3, RXRB, ATP5C1, HSP90AA1, CD44, THRA, TRAF2, KRT10, MED12, etc). Of note, 61 survival-related probes were differentially expressed in three different prognosis subgroups in GBM patients and showed correlation with established prognosis markers such as age and phenotypic molecular signatures. CARS and FARS also showed significantly higher association with different molecular networks in GBM patients. Taken together, our findings demonstrate evidence for an ARSN biology-dominant contribution in the biology of GBM.
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