Tumor-infiltrated activated B cells suppress liver metastasis of colorectal cancers

Cell Rep. 2022 Aug 30;40(9):111295. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111295.


More than 40% of patients with late-stage colorectal cancer (CRC) develop liver metastasis (LM). Which immune cells play important roles in CRC-LM and contribute to the difference between left-sided CRC (LCC) and right-sided CRC (RCC) remain unclear. By single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), we not only find that activated B cells are significantly depleted in CRC with LM, but also find a subtype of B cells developed from activated B cells, namely immature plasma cell population alpha (iMPA), highly correlated with metastasis. Mechanistically, inhibition of the Wnt and transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) pathways in cancer cell promotes activated B cell migration via the SDF-1-CXCR4 axis. This study reveals that B cell subpopulations in the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) play a key role in CRC-LM as well as in LCC and RCC. The preventive effects of modulating B cell subpopulations in CRC may provide a rationale for subsequent drug development and CRC-LM management.

Keywords: CP: Cancer; SDF-1-CXCR4; Wnt signaling; activated B cells; colorectal cancer; liver metastasis; scRNA-seq; tumor immune microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Tumor Microenvironment