Cell lineage analysis of a mouse tumor

Dan Frumkin, Adam Wasserstrom, Shalev Itzkovitz, Tomer Stern, Alon Harmelin, Raya Eilam, Gideon Rechavi, Ehud Shapiro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Revealing the lineage relations among cancer cells can shed light on tumor growth patterns and metastasis formation, yet cell lineages have been difficult to come by in the absence of a suitable method. We previously developed a method for reconstructing cell lineage trees from genomic variability caused by somatic mutations. Here, we apply the method to cancer and reconstruct, for the first time, a lineage tree of neoplastic and adjacent normal cells obtained by laser microdissection from tissue sections of a mouse lymphoma. Analysis of the reconstructed tree reveals that the tumor initiated from a single founder cell, ∼5 months before diagnosis, that the tumor grew in a physically coherent manner, and that the average number of cell divisions accumulated in cancerous cells was almost twice than in adjacent normal lung epithelial cells but slightly less than the expected figure for normal B lymphocytes. The cells were also genotyped at the TP53 locus, and neoplastic cells were found to share a common mutation, which was most likely present in a heterozygous state. Our work shows that the ability to obtain data regarding the physical appearance, precise anatomic position, genotypic profile, and lineage position of single cells may be useful for investigating cancer development, progression, and interaction with the microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5924-5931
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2008


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