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Surveying Brain Tumor Heterogeneity by Single-Cell RNA Sequencing of Multi-sector Biopsies

By Kai Yu, Yuqiong Hu, Fan Wu, Qiufang Guo, Zenghui Qian, Waner Hu, Jing Chen, Kuanyu Wang, Xiaoying Fan, Xinglong Wu, John EJ Rasko, Xiaolong Fan, Antonio Iavarone, Tao Jiang, Fuchou Tang, Xiao-Dong Su

Posted 19 Jan 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.19.911701 (published DOI: 10.1093/nsr/nwaa099)

Brain tumors are among the most challenging human tumors for which the mechanisms driving progression and heterogeneity remain poorly understood. We combined single-cell RNA-seq with multisector biopsies to sample and analyze single-cell expression profiles of gliomas from 13 Chinese patients. After classifying individual cells, we generated a spatial and temporal landscape of glioma that revealed the patterns of invasion between the different sub-regions of gliomas. We also used single-cell inferred CNVs and pseudotime trajectories to inform on the crucial branches that dominate tumor progression. The dynamic cell components of the multi-region biopsy analysis allowed us to spatially deconvolute with unprecedented accuracy the transcriptomic features of the core and those of the periphery of glioma at single cell level. Through this rich and geographically detailed dataset, we were also able to characterize and construct the chemokine and chemokine receptor interactions that exist among different tumor and non-tumor cells. This study provides the first spatial-level analysis of the cellular states that characterize human gliomas. It also presents an initial molecular map of the crosstalks between glioma cells and the surrounding microenvironment with single cell resolution.

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