Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Early Manifestation of Cancerous Phenotype in Pre-Malignant Esophageal Cells

Jiangxin Wang, Xu Shi, Roger H. Johnson, Laimonas Kelbauskas, Weiwen Zhang, Deirdre Meldrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cellular heterogeneity plays a pivotal role in a variety of functional processes in vivo including carcinogenesis. However, our knowledge about cell-to-cell diversity and how differences in individual cells manifest in alterations at the population level remains very limited mainly due to the lack of appropriate tools enabling studies at the single-cell level. We present a study on changes in cellular heterogeneity in the context of pre-malignant progression in response to hypoxic stress. Utilizing pre-malignant progression of Barrett's esophagus (BE) as a disease model system we studied molecular mechanisms underlying the progression from metaplastic to dysplastic (pre-cancerous) stage. We used newly developed methods enabling measurements of cell-to-cell differences in copy numbers of mitochondrial DNA, expression levels of a set of mitochondrial and nuclear genes involved in hypoxia response pathways, and mitochondrial membrane potential. In contrast to bulk cell studies reported earlier, our study shows significant differences between metaplastic and dysplastic BE cells in both average values and single-cell parameter distributions of mtDNA copy numbers, mitochondrial function, and mRNA expression levels of studied genes. Based on single-cell data analysis, we propose that mitochondria may be one of the key factors in pre-malignant progression in BE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere75365
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 8 2013

Fingerprint

Single-Cell Analysis
Mitochondrial DNA
Genes
Phenotype
phenotype
Mitochondria
Barrett Esophagus
cells
Membranes
esophagus
Messenger RNA
mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondrial Genes
Mitochondrial Membrane Potential
disease models
Individuality
membrane potential
carcinogenesis
Carcinogenesis
hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Early Manifestation of Cancerous Phenotype in Pre-Malignant Esophageal Cells. / Wang, Jiangxin; Shi, Xu; Johnson, Roger H.; Kelbauskas, Laimonas; Zhang, Weiwen; Meldrum, Deirdre.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 10, e75365, 08.10.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wang, Jiangxin ; Shi, Xu ; Johnson, Roger H. ; Kelbauskas, Laimonas ; Zhang, Weiwen ; Meldrum, Deirdre. / Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Early Manifestation of Cancerous Phenotype in Pre-Malignant Esophageal Cells. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 10.
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