Multi-scale integrative analyses identify THBS2+ cancer-associated fibroblasts as a key orchestrator promoting aggressiveness in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma.

Yang, Haitang; Sun, Beibei; Fan, Liwen; Ma, Wenyan; Xu, Ke; Hall, Sean R R; Wang, Zhexin; Schmid, Ralph A; Peng, Ren-Wang; Marti, Thomas M; Gao, Wen; Xu, Jianlin; Yang, Weiwei; Yao, Feng (2022). Multi-scale integrative analyses identify THBS2+ cancer-associated fibroblasts as a key orchestrator promoting aggressiveness in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma. Theranostics, 12(7), pp. 3104-3130. Ivyspring International 10.7150/thno.69590

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Rationale: Subsets of patients with early-stage lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) have a poor post-surgical course after curative surgery. However, biomarkers stratifying this high-risk subset and molecular underpinnings underlying the aggressive phenotype remain unclear. Methods: We integrated bulk and single-cell transcriptomics, proteomics, secretome and spatial profiling of clinical early-stage LUAD samples to identify molecular underpinnings that promote the aggressive phenotype. Results: We identified and validated THBS2, at multi-omic levels, as a tumor size-independent biomarker that robustly predicted post-surgical survival in multiple independent clinical cohorts of early-stage LUAD. Furthermore, scRNA-seq data revealed that THBS2 is exclusively derived from a specific cancer-associated fibroblast (CAF) subset that is distinct from CAFs defined by classical markers. Interestingly, our data demonstrated that THBS2 was preferentially secreted via exosomes in early-stage LUAD tumors with high aggressiveness, and its levels in the peripheral plasma associated with short recurrence-free survival. Further characterization showed that THBS2-high early-stage LUAD was characterized by suppressed antitumor immunity. Specifically, beyond tumor cells, THBS2+ CAFs mainly interact with B and CD8+ T lymphocytes as well as macrophages within tumor microenvironment of early-stage LUAD, and THBS2-high LUAD was associated with decreased immune cell infiltrates but increased immune exhaustion marker. Clinically, high THBS2 expression predicted poor response to immunotherapies and short post-treatment survival of patients. Finally, THBS2 recombinant protein suppressed ex vivo T cells proliferation and promoted in vivo LUAD tumor growth and distant micro-metastasis. Conclusions: Our multi-level analyses uncovered tumor-specific THBS2+ CAFs as a key orchestrator promoting aggressiveness in early-stage LUAD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Forschungsbereich Mu50 > Forschungsgruppe Thoraxchirurgie
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Thoracic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Schmid, Ralph, Peng, Ren-Wang, Marti, Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Ivyspring International




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

16 May 2022 16:10

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:19

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

THBS2 cancer-associated fibroblast early-stage lung adenocarcinoma exosome immunotherapy




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