Jovanović B, Temko D, Stevens LE, Seehawer M, Fassl A, Murphy K, Anand J, Garza K, Gulvady A, Qiu X, Harper NW, Daniels VW, Xiao-Yun H, Ge JY, Alečković M, Pyrdol J, Hinohara K, Egri SB, Papanastasiou M, Vadhi R, Font-Tello A, Witwicki R, Peluffo G, Trinh A, Shu S, Diciaccio B, Ekram MB, Subedee A, Herbert ZT, Wucherpfennig KW, Letai AG, Jaffe JD, Sicinski P, Brown M, Dillon D, Long HW, Michor F, Polyak K. 2023. Heterogeneity and transcriptional drivers of triple-negative breast cancer. Cell reports. 42(12):113564. Pubmed: 38100350 DOI:S2211-1247(23)01576-0


Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a heterogeneous disease with limited treatment options. To characterize TNBC heterogeneity, we defined transcriptional, epigenetic, and metabolic subtypes and subtype-driving super-enhancers and transcription factors by combining functional and molecular profiling with computational analyses. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed relative homogeneity of the major transcriptional subtypes (luminal, basal, and mesenchymal) within samples. We found that mesenchymal TNBCs share features with mesenchymal neuroblastoma and rhabdoid tumors and that the PRRX1 transcription factor is a key driver of these tumors. PRRX1 is sufficient for inducing mesenchymal features in basal but not in luminal TNBC cells via reprogramming super-enhancer landscapes, but it is not required for mesenchymal state maintenance or for cellular viability. Our comprehensive, large-scale, multiplatform, multiomics study of both experimental and clinical TNBC is an important resource for the scientific and clinical research communities and opens venues for future investigation.
Copyright © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Franziska Michor uses the tools of theoretical evolutionary biology, applied mathematics, statistics, and computational biology to address important questions in cancer research.

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