Single-cell analysis of human glioma and immune cells identifies S100A4 as an immunotherapy target

Nourhan Abdelfattah, Parveen Kumar, Caiyi Wang, Jia Shiun Leu, William F. Flynn, Ruli Gao, David S. Baskin, Kumar Pichumani, Omkar B. Ijare, Stephanie L. Wood, Suzanne Z. Powell, David L. Haviland, Brittany C. Parker Kerrigan, Frederick F. Lang, Sujit S. Prabhu, Kristin M. Huntoon, Wen Jiang, Betty Y.S. Kim, Joshy George, Kyuson Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


A major rate-limiting step in developing more effective immunotherapies for GBM is our inadequate understanding of the cellular complexity and the molecular heterogeneity of immune infiltrates in gliomas. Here, we report an integrated analysis of 201,986 human glioma, immune, and other stromal cells at the single cell level. In doing so, we discover extensive spatial and molecular heterogeneity in immune infiltrates. We identify molecular signatures for nine distinct myeloid cell subtypes, of which five are independent prognostic indicators of glioma patient survival. Furthermore, we identify S100A4 as a regulator of immune suppressive T and myeloid cells in GBM and demonstrate that deleting S100a4 in non-cancer cells is sufficient to reprogram the immune landscape and significantly improve survival. This study provides insights into spatial, molecular, and functional heterogeneity of glioma and glioma-associated immune cells and demonstrates the utility of this dataset for discovering therapeutic targets for this poorly immunogenic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number767
Pages (from-to)767
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 9 2022


  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms/immunology
  • Female
  • Glioma/immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Myeloid Cells
  • Prognosis
  • S100 Calcium-Binding Protein A4/genetics
  • Single-Cell Analysis/methods
  • Tumor Microenvironment/immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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