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Integrating single-cell RNA-sequencing and functional assays to decipher mammary cell states and lineage hierarchies

Regan, Joseph L and Smalley, Matthew J ORCID: 2020. Integrating single-cell RNA-sequencing and functional assays to decipher mammary cell states and lineage hierarchies. NPJ Breast Cancer 6 , 32. 10.1038/s41523-020-00175-8

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The identification and molecular characterization of cellular hierarchies in complex tissues is key to understanding both normal cellular homeostasis and tumorigenesis. The mammary epithelium is a heterogeneous tissue consisting of two main cellular compartments, an outer basal layer containing myoepithelial cells and an inner luminal layer consisting of estrogen receptor-negative (ER−) ductal cells and secretory alveolar cells (in the fully functional differentiated tissue) and hormone-responsive estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) cells. Recent publications have used single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis to decipher epithelial cell differentiation hierarchies in human and murine mammary glands, and reported the identification of new cell types and states based on the expression of the luminal progenitor cell marker KIT (c-Kit). These studies allow for comprehensive and unbiased analysis of the different cell types that constitute a heterogeneous tissue. Here we discuss scRNA-seq studies in the context of previous research in which mammary epithelial cell populations were molecularly and functionally characterized, and identified c-Kit+ progenitors and cell states analogous to those reported in the recent scRNA-seq studies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute (ECSCRI)
ISSN: 2374-4677
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 17 June 2020
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 09:15

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