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Dissecting the Single-Cell Transcriptome Network Underlying Gastric Premalignant Lesions and Early Gastric Cancer
Zhang, Peng and Yang, Mingran and Zhang, Yiding and Xiao, Shuai and Lai, Xinxing and Tan, Aidi and Du, Shiyu and Li, Shao
Intestinal-type gastric cancer is preceded by premalignant lesions, including chronic atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia. In this study, we constructed a single-cell atlas for 32,332 high-quality cells from gastric antral mucosa biopsies of patients spanning a cascade of gastric premalignant lesions and early gastric cancer (EGC) using single-cell RNA sequencing. We then constructed a single-cell network underlying cellular and molecular characteristics of gastric epithelial cells across different lesions. We found that gland mucous cells tended to acquire an intestinal-like stem cell phenotype during metaplasia, and we identified OR51E1 as a marker for unique endocrine cells in the early-malignant lesion. We also found that HES6 might mark the pre-goblet cell cluster, potentially aiding identification of metaplasia at the early stage. Finally, we identified a panel of EGC-specific signatures, with clinical implications for the precise diagnosis of EGC. Our study offers unparalleled insights into the human gastric cellulome in premalignant and early-malignant lesions.