Spatially-resolved tumor gene expression analysis identifies SERPINE1 as a molecular switch of CRC progression

SUMMARY
During tumor progression, cancer cells come into contact with new cell types in the microenvironment, but it is
unclear how tumor cells adapt to new environments. In this study, we optimized and integrated spatial transcriptomics
with laser microdissection (LMD) coupled to gene expression to discern genes that are differentially expressed in
tumor cells during the course of cancer progression. The development of optimized protocols allows the
possibility to identify region of interest from staining or immunostaining and micro-dissect enough material for
gene expression and analysis. Using CRC tumors at different progression stages, we identified a key driver of
tumor metastases. The results demonstrated the power of spatial transcriptomic approaches in uncovering
mechanisms that allow tumors to invade into the microenvironment and help discover biomarkers as potential
therapeutic targets.




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