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In PloS one ; h5-index 176.0

Human cells tightly control their dimensions, but in some cancers, normal cell size control is lost. In this study we measure cell volumes of epithelial cells from human lung adenocarcinoma progression in situ. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), we reconstruct tumor cell shapes in three dimensions (3D) and find airway type 2 cells display up to 10-fold increases in volume. Surprisingly, cell size increase is not caused by altered ploidy, and up to 80% of near-euploid tumor cells show abnormal sizes. Size dysregulation is not explained by cell swelling or senescence because cells maintain cytoplasmic density and proper organelle size scaling, but is correlated with changes in tissue organization and loss of a novel network of processes that appear to connect alveolar type 2 cells. To validate size dysregulation in near-euploid cells, we sorted cells from tumor single-cell suspensions on the basis of size. Our study provides data of unprecedented detail for cell volume dysregulation in a human cancer. Broadly, loss of size control may be a common feature of lung adenocarcinomas in humans and mice that is relevant to disease and identification of these cells provides a useful model for investigating cell size control and consequences of cell size dysregulation.

Sandlin Clifford W, Gu Song, Xu Jun, Deshpande Charuhas, Feldman Michael D, Good Matthew C