Single-cell analysis reveals transcriptomic remodellings in distinct cell types that contribute to human prostate cancer progression.

Prostate cancer shows remarkable clinical heterogeneity, which manifests in spatial and clonal genomic diversity. By contrast, the transcriptomic heterogeneity of prostate tumours is poorly understood. Here we have profiled the transcriptomes of 36,424 single cells from 13 prostate tumours and identified the epithelial cells underlying disease aggressiveness. The tumour microenvironment (TME) showed activation of multiple progression-associated transcriptomic programs. Notably, we observed promiscuous KLK3 expression and validated the ability of cancer cells in altering T-cell transcriptomes. Profiling of a primary tumour and two matched lymph nodes provided evidence that KLK3 ectopic expression is associated with micrometastases. Close cell-cell communication exists among cells. We identified an endothelial subset harbouring active communication (activated endothelial cells, aECs) with tumour cells. Together with sequencing of an additional 11 samples, we showed that aECs are enriched in castration-resistant prostate cancer and promote cancer cell invasion. Finally, we created a user-friendly web interface for users to explore the sequenced data.

Berlin A, Bian X, Boutros PC, Chen D, Chen S, Chen W, De Carvalho DD, Di Vizio D, Dong K, Fraser M, Guo Q, He HH, Jiang Z, Liu F, Liu M, Liu Y, Loo Yau H, Mariscal J, Ren S, Soares F, Wang C, Wang F, Wang J, Wu S, Xiao YT, Yang Y, Yi Z, Yu Y, Zhang B, Zhang N, Zhu G, Zhu Y, van der Kwast T

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Nat Cell Biol, 2021, 23 (1)

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