Scientific Advances: Pancreatic cancer: tracking the gene changes underlying metastasis

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new CRISPR-based method to help trace the lineage and gene expression patterns of individual cancer cells in a mouse model of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Combining CRISPR lineage tracing with single-cell RNA sequencing, they were able to detailed the changes in gene expression that accompany metastasis. Their findings reveal that genetic changes that drive metastasis include altered gene expression patterns in addition to genetic mutations. In particular, expression of S100 gene family propagated across clonally distinct metastatic subpopulations and enhanced the ability to metastasize.

For more information, see: Simeonov, P. et al. (2021) Single-cell lineage tracing of metastatic cancer reveals selection of hybrid EMT states, Cancer Cell.

Keywords: lineage tracing; phylogenetics; CRISPR; evolving barcodes; barcoding; metastasis;

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