Investigating the impact of lung cancer cell-of-origin on tumour metabolic phenotype and heterogeneity


Non-small-cell lung cancer has been described as highly heterogenous which results in different metabolic phenotypes. There are multiple factors which contribute to this heterogeneity, one of which is the tumour cell-of-origin. In the lung, there are five cell types reported to be cells-of-origin: alveolar epithelial type 2, club, basal, neuroendocrine and bronchioalveolar stem cells. This project focuses on the interaction between the cell-of-origin and the metabolic phenotype of lung cancer, and we aim to assess the contribution of the cell-of-origin to lung cancer metabolic resultant phenotype and heterogeneity. To accomplish this, we have established two complementary model systems, one in vitro and one in vivo. In our in vitro model, we isolated specific lung cell types, including AT2 cells, basal cells, and club cells, utilising their unique cell surface markers. By introducing oncogenic KRAS mutations and deleting the P53 gene, we are creating lineage-restricted organoids. These organoids will serve as valuable tools for characterizing the metabolic aspects of tumours arising from different cell-of-origin backgrounds within an in vitro setting. In our in vivo model, we induced NSCLC tumours in mice with genetic modifications using viral vectors, namely Ad5-mSPC-Cre, Ad5-CC10-Cre, and Ad5- bk5-Cre. These vectors are selectively expressed in AT2, club, and basal cells, respectively. To ensure the validity of our comparisons, we have carefully monitored tumour growth dynamics and burden in these mouse models. Our comprehensive analysis has revealed three distinct transcriptomic subtypes (S1, S2, and Acetate) within these NSCLC tumours. Notably, S1 and Acetate subtypes are enriched in tumours originating from specific cell types. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has unveiled metabolic variations, with S1 tumours displaying heightened [18F]FDG uptake and the Acetate subtype exhibiting increased [11C]acetate uptake. Furthermore, our multi-omics approach, encompassing transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, has exposed disparities in critical metabolic pathways, such as glycolysis, hypoxia response, and apoptosis. In summary, our research provides a comprehensive examination of the metabolic heterogeneity of NSCLC based on the cell-of-origin independently of genomic alterations

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