Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.531, No.4, 552-558, 2020
Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals the regenerative potential of thyroid follicular epithelial cells in metastatic thyroid carcinoma
Thyroid stimulating hormone deficiency is the cornerstone of treatment for metastatic thyroid cancer. Due to the loss of follicular epithelial cells in thyroid cancer, the thyroid gland degenerates to 85% of its original size. When thyroid stimulating hormone is restored, follicular epithelial cells in thyroid cancer regenerate, which is postulated to be related to stem-like cells. By single cell RNA seq, we found a group of rare thyroid follicular epithelial cells in mouse metastatic thyroid cancer, which expressed stem-like genes (CD44V6(+) and CD133(+)) and a large number of differentiated cells (CD44V6(+) and CD24(+)). In mouse and in organoids, the two subsets contribute equally to metastatic thyroid cancer regeneration. The analysis of human metastatic thyroid cancer revealed that the differentiated thyroid follicular epithelial cell subpopulation was similar to that of the stem like epithelial cell subpopulation, and the regeneration potential was also enhanced after thyroid stimulating hormone ablation. Accordingly, we propose that the regeneration of metastatic thyroid cancer is driven by almost all persistent thyroid follicular epithelial cells, not only by few stem-like cells. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.