Single-cell transcriptome analysis reveals estrogen signaling coordinately augments one-carbon, polyamine, and purine synthesis in breast cancer
See, Yi Xiang
Lim, Michelle Gek Liang
Date of Issue2018
School of Biological Sciences
Estrogen drives breast cancer (BCa) progression by directly activating estrogen receptor α (ERα). However, because of the stochastic nature of gene transcription, it is important to study the estrogen signaling pathway at the single-cell level to fully understand how ERα regulates transcription. Here, we performed single-cell transcriptome analysis on ERα-positive BCa cells following 17β-estradiol stimulation and reconstructed the dynamic estrogen-responsive transcriptional network from discrete time points into a pseudotemporal continuum. Notably, differentially expressed genes show an estrogen-stimulated metabolic switch that favors biosynthesis but reduces estrogen degradation. Moreover, folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism is reprogrammed through the mitochondrial folate pathway and polyamine and purine synthesis are upregulated coordinately. Finally, we show AZIN1 and PPAT are direct ERα targets that are essential for BCa cell survival and growth. In summary, our study highlights the dynamic transcriptional heterogeneity in ERα-positive BCa cells upon estrogen stimulation and uncovers a mechanism of estrogen-mediated metabolic switch.
© 2018 The Authors. (Published by Elsevier). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).