Theranostics 2022; 12(13):5877-5887. doi:10.7150/thno.73714 This issue

Research Paper

Single-cell transcriptomics reveals the regulative roles of cancer associated fibroblasts in tumor immune microenvironment of recurrent osteosarcoma

Xin Huang1✉*, Lutong Wang1*, Haoyu Guo1*, Weiyue Zhang2✉, Zengwu Shao1✉

1. Department of Orthopaedics, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
2. Department of Endocrinology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Huang X, Wang L, Guo H, Zhang W, Shao Z. Single-cell transcriptomics reveals the regulative roles of cancer associated fibroblasts in tumor immune microenvironment of recurrent osteosarcoma. Theranostics 2022; 12(13):5877-5887. doi:10.7150/thno.73714. Available from https://www.thno.org/v12p5877.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Rationale: Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary bone tumor with a poor prognosis, but the detailed mechanism is still unclear. A comprehensive investigation of tumor microenvironment (TME) of OS might help find effective anti-tumor strategies. Single-cell transcriptomics is a powerful new tool to explore TME. Therefore, this study is designed to investigate the TME and gene expression pattern of primary and recurrent OS at the single-cell level.

Methods: The single-cell RNA sequencing and bioinformatic analysis were conducted to investigate the cellular constitution of primary, recurrent, and lung metastatic OS lesions according to the datasets of GSE152048 and GSE162454. TIMER database was used to investigate the role of LOX in the prognosis of sarcoma. The functions of related cells and markers were further confirmed by in vitro and in vivo experiments.

Results: Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) were found with a higher infiltrating level in recurrent OS, and were enriched in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathway. CAFs showed remarkably increased expression of LOX, which might lead to EMT and poor prognosis of OS. Mechanically, LOX regulated the function of CAFs and macrophage polarization to remodel the tumor immune microenvironment. Moreover, LOX inhibitor could inhibit migration and promote apoptosis of OS both in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusions: This study revealed the heterogeneity of recurrent OS and highlighted an innovative mechanism that CAFs regulate EMT of OS via LOX. Targeting LOX of CAFs showed promising efficacy in remodeling TME and treating recurrent OS.

Keywords: Single-cell transcriptomics, Cancer associated fibroblasts, Tumor immune microenvironment, Osteosarcoma