Multiregional single-cell proteogenomic analysis of ccRCC reveals cytokine drivers of intratumor spatial heterogeneity

Cell Rep. 2022 Aug 16;40(7):111180. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111180.


Intratumor heterogeneity (ITH) represents a major challenge for anticancer therapies. An integrated, multidimensional, multiregional approach dissecting ITH of the clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) tumor microenvironment (TME) is employed at the single-cell level with mass cytometry (CyTOF), multiplex immunofluorescence (MxIF), and single-nucleus RNA sequencing (snRNA-seq) and at the bulk level with whole-exome sequencing (WES), RNA-seq, and methylation profiling. Multiregional analyses reveal unexpected conservation of immune composition within each individual patient, with profound differences among patients, presenting patient-specific tumor immune microenvironment signatures despite underlying genetic heterogeneity from clonal evolution. Spatial proteogenomic TME analysis using MxIF identifies 14 distinct cellular neighborhoods and, conversely, demonstrated architectural heterogeneity among different tumor regions. Tumor-expressed cytokines are identified as key determinants of the TME and correlate with clinical outcome. Overall, this work signifies that spatial ITH occurs in ccRCC, which may drive clinical heterogeneity and warrants further interrogation to improve patient outcomes.

Keywords: CP: Cancer; ccRCC; multiomic profiling; multiplex imaging; multiregional biopsies; single-cell proteogenomics; spatial heterogeneity; tumor heterogeneity; tumor microenvironment.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / pathology
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Proteogenomics*
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics


  • Cytokines