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In Briefings in bioinformatics

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been associated with cancer immunity regulation and the tumor microenvironment (TME). However, functions of lncRNAs of tumor-infiltrating B lymphocytes (TIL-Bs) and their clinical significance have not yet been fully elucidated. In the present study, a machine learning-based computational framework is presented for the identification of lncRNA signature of TIL-Bs (named 'TILBlncSig') through integrative analysis of immune, lncRNA and clinical profiles. The TILBlncSig comprising eight lncRNAs (TNRC6C-AS1, WASIR2, GUSBP11, OGFRP1, AC090515.2, PART1, MAFG-DT and LINC01184) was identified from the list of 141 B-cell-specific lncRNAs. The TILBlncSig was capable of distinguishing worse compared with improved survival outcomes across different independent patient datasets and was also independent of other clinical covariates. Functional characterization of TILBlncSig revealed it to be an indicator of infiltration of mononuclear immune cells (i.e. natural killer cells, B-cells and mast cells), and it was associated with hallmarks of cancer, as well as immunosuppressive phenotype. Furthermore, the TILBlncSig revealed predictive value for the survival outcome and immunotherapy response of patients with anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) therapy and added significant predictive power to current immune checkpoint gene markers. The present study has highlighted the value of the TILBlncSig as an indicator of immune cell infiltration in the TME from a noncoding RNA perspective and strengthened the potential application of lncRNAs as predictive biomarkers of immunotherapy response, which warrants further investigation.

Zhou Meng, Zhang Zicheng, Bao Siqi, Hou Ping, Yan Congcong, Su Jianzhong, Sun Jie


immunotherapy, long noncoding RNAs, tumor-infiltrating B lymphocytes