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Spencer D. Martin

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    MA24 - Genomic Evolution, KEAP 3 and More Non-Coding RNA (ID 928)

    • Event: WCLC 2018
    • Type: Mini Oral Abstract Session
    • Track: Biology
    • Presentations: 1
    • Moderators:
    • Coordinates: 9/26/2018, 10:30 - 12:00, Room 205 BD
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      MA24.06 - Long Non-Coding Rna Expression Patterns Delineate Infiltrating Immune Cells in the Lung Tumour Microenvironment (ID 13978)

      11:05 - 11:10  |  Author(s): Spencer D. Martin

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides


      The tumour microenvironment is characterized by complex interactions between different cell types, including immune cells that may exhibit pro- or anti-tumour effects. Sequencing and deconvolution techniques present opportunities to identify immune cell composition of bulk tumour data; similarly, these have renewed an interest in the non-coding transcriptome and its regulation of immune- and tumour-biology. Numerous long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs; >200nt) have emerged as regulators of tumour initiation, progression, and metastasis. Additionally, several immune-related lncRNAs mediate fine-level regulation to balance pro- and anti-inflammatory phenotypes; yet, the landscape of lncRNA expression in human immune cells remains uncharacterized. Thus, delineating these multifaceted regulatory networks is critical to cancer immunology, particularly in immunogenic malignancies such as lung cancer.

      a9ded1e5ce5d75814730bb4caaf49419 Method

      RNA-sequencing data of purified immune-cell subsets (CD8+ T, CD4+ T, B, Monocytes, Neutrophils, and Natural Killer) obtained from flow-sorted healthy peripheral blood samples were probed for lncRNA expression. Sequencing reads were aligned to the hg38 reference genome and quantified to Ensembl v89, yielding 4919 expressed lncRNAs. These immune-associated lncRNAs were correlated with immune cell infiltrate in tumour and paired non-malignant lung adenocarcinoma samples (n=54, The Cancer Genome Atlas) as estimated by the proportion of consistent immune-associated methylation profiles, denoted by leukocytes unmethylation for purity (LUMP) scores.

      4c3880bb027f159e801041b1021e88e8 Result

      We observed that lncRNA expression patterns display a greater degree of cell-type specificity than protein-coding genes in immune cells. In fact, 676 lncRNAs had detectable expression in exclusively one cell type. We uncovered previously-uncharacterized lncRNAs that have expression patterns suggestive of immune-regulatory roles. Compared with lung tumour samples, 19 immune-associated lncRNAs were significantly negatively correlated with LUMP scores (r<-0.400, BH-p<0.0100), 17 of which were also strongly positively correlated with CD45 gene expression (r>0.400, BH-p<0.0100) suggesting expression from immune rather than tumour cells. For instance, the lncRNA USP30-AS1 is significantly downregulated in tumours (average fold-change=2.96, BH-p=6.88*10-13), suggesting its relevance to tumour biology; however, higher transcript expression is correlated with decreased LUMP score (r=-0.685, BH-p=1.02*10-4), illustrating its specificity to immune cells.

      8eea62084ca7e541d918e823422bd82e Conclusion

      Here, we present an atlas of cell-type specific lncRNAs in human immune cells. Our data suggest a functional relevance of lncRNAs to the biology of the tumour microenvironment, and the necessary consideration of tumour purity when examining non-coding RNA expression in order to avoid conclusions confounded by immune cells in bulk tumour data. Thus, we provide a resource for further elucidation of genomic links between immune and malignant cells, which may aid the development of future prognostic and therapeutic strategies.


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