Molecular characterization of onychomatricoma: Spatial profiling reveals the role of onychofibroblasts in its pathogenesis.
IF: 4.511
Cited by: 2


Onychomatricoma (OM) is a rare nail unit tumour with a characteristic presentation of finger-like projections arising from the nail matrix. Due to the lack of transcriptome information, the mechanisms underlying its development are largely unknown. To characterize molecular features involved in the disease pathogenesis, we used digital spatial profiling (DSP) in 2 cases of OM and normal control nail units. Based on the histological evaluation, we selectively profiled 69 regions of interest covering epithelial and stromal compartments of each tissue section. Dermoscopic and histopathologic findings were reviewed in 6 cases. Single-cell RNA sequencing of nail units and DSP were combined to define cell type contributions of OM. We identified 173 genes upregulated in stromal compartments of OM compared to onychodermis, specialized nail mesenchyme. Gene ontology analysis of the upregulated genes suggested the role of Wnt pathway activation in OM pathogenesis. We also found PLA2G2A, a known modulator of Wnt signalling, is strongly and specifically expressed in the OM stroma. The potential role of Wnt pathway was further supported by strong nuclear localization of β-catenin in OM. Compared to the nail matrix epithelium, only a few genes were increased in OM epithelium. Deconvolution of nail unit cell types showed that onychofibroblasts are the dominant cell type in OM stroma. Altogether, integrated spatial and single-cell multi-omics concluded that OM is a tumour that derives a significant proportion of its origin from onychofibroblasts and is associated with upregulation of Wnt signals, which play a key role in the disease pathogenesis.


Spatial Transcriptomics
RNA expression
Wnt signalling
spatial transcriptomics

MeSH terms

Nail Diseases
Skin Neoplasms
Nails, Malformed


Shim, Joonho
Park, Jihye
Jung, Yeon Joo
Jang, Kee-Taek
Kwon, Eun Ji
Lee, Jong Hee
Lee, Dongyoun