Single-cell mRNA sequencing identifies subclonal heterogeneity in anti-cancer drug responses of lung adenocarcinoma cells

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Kim, Kyu-Tae; Lee, Hye Won; Lee, Hae-Ock; Kim, Sang Cheol; Seo, Yun Jee; Chung, Woosung; Eum, Hye Hyeon; Nam, Do-Hyun; Kim, Junhyong; Joo, Kyeung Min; Park, Woong-Yang
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BioMed Central
Genome Biology, 16(1):127
Intra-tumoral genetic and functional heterogeneity correlates with cancer clinical prognoses. However, the mechanisms by which intra-tumoral heterogeneity impacts therapeutic outcome remain poorly understood. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of single tumor cells can provide comprehensive information about gene expression and single-nucleotide variations in individual tumor cells, which may allow for the translation of heterogeneous tumor cell functional responses into customized anti-cancer treatments.

We isolated 34 patient-derived xenograft (PDX) tumor cells from a lung adenocarcinoma patient tumor xenograft. Individual tumor cells were subjected to single cell RNA-seq for gene expression profiling and expressed mutation profiling. Fifty tumor-specific single-nucleotide variations, including KRAS G12D, were observed to be heterogeneous in individual PDX cells. Semi-supervised clustering, based on KRAS G12D mutant expression and a risk score representing expression of 69 lung adenocarcinoma-prognostic genes, classified PDX cells into four groups. PDX cells that survived in vitro anti-cancer drug treatment displayed transcriptome signatures consistent with the group characterized by KRAS G12D and low risk score.

Single-cell RNA-seq on viable PDX cells identified a candidate tumor cell subgroup associated with anti-cancer drug resistance. Thus, single-cell RNA-seq is a powerful approach for identifying unique tumor cell-specific gene expression profiles which could facilitate the development of optimized clinical anti-cancer strategies.
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Dept. of Biomedical Sciences (대학원 의과학과)Journal Papers (저널논문_의과학과)
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