Comprehensive analysis of metastatic gastric cancer tumour cells using single-cell RNA-seq

Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13;11(1):1141. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-80881-2.


Gastric cancer (GC) is a leading cause of cancer-induced mortality, with poor prognosis with metastasis. The mechanism of gastric carcinoma lymph node metastasis remains unknown due to traditional bulk-leveled approaches masking the roles of subpopulations. To answer questions concerning metastasis from the gastric carcinoma intratumoural perspective, we performed single-cell level analysis on three gastric cancer patients with primary cancer and paired metastatic lymph node cancer tissues using single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq). The results showed distinct carcinoma profiles from each patient, and diverse microenvironmental subsets were shared across different patients. Clustering data showed significant intratumoural heterogeneity. The results also revealed a subgroup of cells bridging the metastatic group and primary group, implying the transition state of cancer during the metastatic process. In the present study, we obtained a more comprehensive picture of gastric cancer lymph node metastasis, and we discovered some GC lymph node metastasis marker genes (ERBB2, CLDN11 and CDK12), as well as potential gastric cancer evolution-driving genes (FOS and JUN), which provide a basis for the treatment of GC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / genetics*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA-Seq
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology