Identification of the lymphangioleiomyomatosis cell and its uterine origin

Minzhe Guo, Jane J. Yu, Anne Karina Perl, Kathryn A. Wikenheiser-Brokamp, Matt Riccetti, Erik Y. Zhang, Parvathi Sudha, Mike Adam,
Andrew Potter, Elizabeth J. Kopras, Krinio Giannikou, S Steven Potter, Sue Sherman, Stephen R. Hammes, David J. Kwiatkowski,
Jeffrey A. Whitsett, Francis X. McCormack, Yan Xu


Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a metastasizing neoplasm of reproductive age women that causes cystic lung remodeling and progressive respiratory failure. The source of LAM cells that invade the lung and the reasons that LAM targets women have remained elusive. We employed single cell and single nuclei RNA sequencing on LAM lesions within explanted LAM lungs, known to contain smooth muscle like cells bearing mTOR activating mutations in TSC1 or TSC2, and identified a unique population of cells that were readily distinguished from those of endogenous lung cells. LAMCORE cells shared closest transcriptomic similarity to normal uterus and neural crest. Immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated the expression of LAMCORE cell signature genes within LAM lesions in both lung and uterus. Serum aptamer proteomics and ELISA identified biomarkers predicted to be secreted by LAMCORE cells. Single cell transcriptomics strongly supports a uterine neural crest origin of LAMCORE cells; providing insights into disease pathogenesis and informing future treatment strategies for LAM.


Present study identified a novel population of LAMCORE cells, which is likely originated from uterine neural crest; identified novel LAM cell-specific secretome proteins that hold promise as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Advancing the understanding of LAM pathogenesis and metastasis model may yield broader insights into the biology of cancer.

Research laboratories contributed to this work


Query function

Data Availability

All sequencing data from the present study has been deposited to GEO ( R code used for data analysis is available at Github - Xu Lab.

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