Single-cell transcriptomic analysis highlights origin and pathological process of human endometrioid endometrial carcinoma

Nat Commun. 2022 Oct 22;13(1):6300. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33982-7.


Endometrial cancers are complex ecosystems composed of cells with distinct phenotypes, genotypes, and epigenetic states. Current models do not adequately reflect oncogenic origin and pathological progression in patients. Here we use single-cell RNA sequencing to profile cells from normal endometrium, atypical endometrial hyperplasia, and endometrioid endometrial cancer (EEC), which altogether represent the step-by-step development of endometrial cancer. We find that EEC originates from endometrial epithelial cells but not stromal cells, and unciliated glandular epithelium is the source of EEC. We also identify LCN2 + /SAA1/2 + cells as a featured subpopulation of endometrial tumorigenesis. Finally, the stromal niche and immune environment changes during EEC progression are described. This study elucidates the evolution of cell populations in EEC development at single-cell resolution, which would provide a direction to facilitate EEC research and diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid* / pathology
  • Ecosystem
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia* / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Transcriptome