Neurofibromatosis Type I (NF1) is a neurocutaneous genetic syndrome characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, including benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor called neurofibroma. These tumors originate from the Schwann cell lineage but other cell types as well as extracellular matrix (ECM) in the neurofibroma microenvironment constitute the majority of the tumor mass. In fact, collagen accounts for up to 50% of the neurofibroma’s dry weight. Although the presence of collagens in neurofibroma is indisputable, the exact repertoire of ECM genes and ECM-associated genes (i.e. the matrisome) and their functions are unknown. Here, transcriptome profiling by single-cell RNA sequencing reveals the matrisome of human cutaneous neurofibroma (cNF). We discovered that classic pro-fibrogenic collagen I myofibroblasts are rare in neurofibroma. In contrast, collagen VI, a pro-tumorigenic ECM, is abundant and mainly secreted by neurofibroma fibroblasts. This study also identified potential cell type-specific markers to further elucidate the biology of the cNF microenvironment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience