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Single-cell Long Non-coding RNA Landscape of T Cells in Human Cancer Immunity

By Haitao Luo, Dechao Bu, Lijuan Shao, Yang Li, Liang Sun, Ce Wang, Jing Wang, Wei Yang, Xiaofei Yang, Jun Dong, Yi Zhao, Furong Li

Posted 24 Jul 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.22.215855

The development of new therapeutic targets for cancer immunotherapies and the development of new biomarkers require deep understanding of T cells. To date, the complete landscape and systematic characterization of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in T cells in cancer immunity are lacking. Here, by systematically analyzing full-length single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data of more than 20,000 T cell libraries across three cancer types, we provide the first comprehensive catalog and the functional repertoires of lncRNAs in human T cells. Specifically, we developed a custom pipeline for de novo transcriptome assembly obtaining 9,433 novel lncRNA genes that increased the number of current human lncRNA catalog by 16% and nearly doubled the number of lncRNAs expressed in T cells. We found that a portion of expressed genes in single T cells were lncRNAs which have been overlooked by the majority of previous studies. Based on metacell maps constructed by MetaCell algorithm that partition scRNA-seq datasets into disjointed and homogenous groups of cells (metacells), 154 signature lncRNAs associated with effector, exhausted, and regulatory T cell states are identified, 84 of which are functionally annotated based on co-expression network, indicating that lncRNAs might broadly participate in regulation of T cell functions. Our findings provide a new point of view and resource for investigating the mechanisms of T cell regulation in cancer immunity as well as for novel cancer-immune biomarker development and cancer immunotherapies. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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