Convergence of oncogenic cooperation at single-cell and single-gene levels drives leukemic transformation

Yuxuan Liu, Zhimin Gu, Hui Cao, Pranita Kaphle, Junhua Lyu, Yuannyu Zhang, Wenhuo Hu, Stephen S. Chung, Kathryn E. Dickerson, Jian Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cancers develop from the accumulation of somatic mutations, yet it remains unclear how oncogenic lesions cooperate to drive cancer progression. Using a mouse model harboring NRasG12D and EZH2 mutations that recapitulates leukemic progression, we employ single-cell transcriptomic profiling to map cellular composition and gene expression alterations in healthy or diseased bone marrows during leukemogenesis. At cellular level, NRasG12D induces myeloid lineage-biased differentiation and EZH2-deficiency impairs myeloid cell maturation, whereas they cooperate to promote myeloid neoplasms with dysregulated transcriptional programs. At gene level, NRasG12D and EZH2-deficiency independently and synergistically deregulate gene expression. We integrate results from histopathology, leukemia repopulation, and leukemia-initiating cell assays to validate transcriptome-based cellular profiles. We use this resource to relate developmental hierarchies to leukemia phenotypes, evaluate oncogenic cooperation at single-cell and single-gene levels, and identify GEM as a regulator of leukemia-initiating cells. Our studies establish an integrative approach to deconvolute cancer evolution at single-cell resolution in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6323
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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