Ohmura, Takuya Biozentrum University of Basel
Hanibuchi, Yuto Tokushima University
The Cancer Genome Atlas
thymic epithelial tumor
Despite the clear distinction between cortical (cTECs) and medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) in physiology, the cell of origin of thymic carcinomas (TCs) and other thymic epithelial tumors remained enigmatic. We addressed this issue by focusing on AIRE, an mTEC-specific transcriptional regulator that is required for immunological self-tolerance. We found that a large proportion of TCs expressed AIRE with typical nuclear dot morphology by immunohistochemistry. AIRE expression in TCs was supported by the RNA-seq data in the TCGA-THYM database. Furthermore, our bioinformatics approach to the recent single-cell RNA-seq data on human thymi has revealed that TCs hold molecular characteristics of multiple mTEC subpopulations. In contrast, TCs lacked the gene signatures for cTECs. We propose that TCs are tumors derived from mTECs.
John Wiley & Sons
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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