The CHST11 gene is linked to lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis

Chien Hsiu Li, Ming Hsien Chan, Yu Chan Chang, Michael Hsiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The abnormal modification of chondroitin sulfate is one of the leading causes of disease, including cancer progression. During chondroitin sulfate biosynthesis, the CHST11 enzyme plays a vital role in its modification, but its role in cancer is not fully understood. Therefore, understanding the relationship between CHST11 and pulmonary-related diseases through clinically relevant information may be useful for diagnosis or treatment. Methods: A variety of pulmonary fibrosis clinical gene expression omnibus (GEO) datasets were used to assess the association between CHST11-related manifestations and fibrosis. Multiple lung cancer-related databases, including The Cancer Genome Atlas, GEO datasets, UCSC Xena, GEPIA2, Cbioportal and ingenuity pathway analysis were used to evaluate the clinical correlation between CHST11 and lung cancer and potential molecular mechanisms. For drug repurposing prediction, the molecules that correlated with CHST11 were subjected to the LINCS L1000 algorithm. A variety of in vitro assays were performed to evaluate the in-silico models, including RNA and protein expression, proliferation, migration and invasion. Results: Clinical analyses indicate that the levels of CHST11 are significantly elevated in cases of pulmonary-related diseases, including fibrosis and lung cancer. According to multiple lung cancer cohorts, CHST11 is the only member of the carbohydrate sulfotransferase family associated with overall survival for lung adenocarcinomas, and it is highly related to smoking-induced lung cancer patients. Based on the results of in vitro experiments, CHST11 expression contributes to tumor malignancy and promotes multiple fibrotic activators. Correlation-based ingenuity pathway analysis indicated that CHST11-related molecules contributed to pulmonary fibrosis or lung adenocarcinomas via similar upstream stimulators. Based on known molecular regulatory relationships, CHST11 has been associated with the regulation of TGF-β and INFγ as important molecules contributing to fibrosis and cancer progression. Interestingly, WordCloud analysis revealed that CHST11-related molecules are involved in regulation primarily by integrin signaling, and these relationships were consistently reflected in the analysis of cell lines and the clinical correlation. A CHST11 signature-based drug repurposing analysis demonstrated that the CHST11/integrin axis could be targeted by AG-1478 (Tyrphostin AG 1478), brefeldin A, geldanamycin and importazole. Conclusions: This study provides the first demonstration that CHST11 may be used as a biomarker for pulmonary fibrosis or lung cancer, and the levels of CHST11 were increased by TGF-β and INFγ. The molecular simulation analyses demonstrate that the CHST11/integrin axis is a potential therapeutic target for treating lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3451
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • bioinformatics
  • carbohydrate sulfotransferase 11
  • lung cancer
  • pulmonary fibrosis


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