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Single-cell transcriptomics links malignant T cells to the tumor immune landscape in cutaneous T cell lymphoma.

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Liu, Xiangjun 
Hu, Simeng 
Li, Ruoyan 
Pan, Haihao 


Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) represents a heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin lymphoma distinguished by the presence of clonal malignant T cells. The heterogeneity of malignant T cells and the complex tumor microenvironment remain poorly characterized. With single-cell RNA analysis and bulk whole-exome sequencing on 19 skin lesions from 15 CTCL patients, we decipher the intra-tumor and inter-lesion diversity of CTCL patients and propose a multi-step tumor evolution model. We further establish a subtyping scheme based on the molecular features of malignant T cells and their pro-tumorigenic microenvironments: the TCyEM group, demonstrating a cytotoxic effector memory T cell phenotype, shows more M2 macrophages infiltration, while the TCM group, featured by a central memory T cell phenotype and adverse patient outcome, is infiltrated by highly exhausted CD8+ reactive T cells, B cells and Tregs with suppressive activities. Our results establish a solid basis for understanding the nature of CTCL and pave the way for future precision medicine for CTCL patients.



Humans, Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous, Single-Cell Analysis, Skin Neoplasms, Transcriptome, Tumor Microenvironment

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC