Integrating microarray-based spatial transcriptomics and single-cell RNA-sequencing reveals tissue architecture in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
IF: 11.205


The tumor microenvironment (TME) serves as an important factor in tumorigenesis and metastasis. Although distinct cell subsets can be identified via single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), the spatial composition of cells within the TME is difficult to characterise. Tissue samples were collected from three patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and scRNA-seq was performed to identify distinct cell subsets. In addition, a microarray-based spatial transcriptomics (ST) method was used to characterise the spatial landscape of expression data via an array of spots. Using multimodal intersection analysis (MIA) to integrate scRNA-seq and ST, the exact cellular components of the tumor and stromal regions were annotated. The subpopulations of seven stromal cells were identified within the TME of ESCC, and the architecture of scRNA-seq-determined subsets was mapped in cancer and stromal regions. The distribution of various stromal cells and their subpopulations was heterogeneous. Compared with immune cells, non-immune stromal cells were significantly enriched in the TME. Most subsets of epithelial cells were enriched in the cancer regions, whereas inflammatory cancer-associated fibroblasts were correlated with the stromal regions. Furthermore, TME features were different between metastatic and non-metastatic samples and between the primary and metastatic sites of the metastatic sample. This study revealed the spatial landscape of various cell subsets within the TME and the potential cross-talk among diverse cells, which provides novel insights into cancer intervention. A full list of funding bodies that contributed to this study can be found in the Acknowledgements section.


Spatial Transcriptomics
Spatial transcriptomics
Tumor microenvironment


Guo, Wei
Zhou, Bolun
Yang, Zhenlin
Liu, Xiang
Huai, Qilin
Guo, Lei
Xue, Xuemin
Tan, Fengwei
Li, Yin
Xue, Qi
Gao, Shugeng
He, Jie