Understanding of dedifferentiation, an indicator of poo prognosis for patients with thyroid cancer, has been hampered by imprecise and incomplete characterization of its heterogeneity and its attributes. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we explored the landscape of thyroid cancer at single-cell resolution with 46,205 cells and delineated its dedifferentiation process and suppressive immune microenvironment. The developmental trajectory indicated that anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) cells were derived from a small subset of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) cells. Moreover, a potential functional role of CREB3L1 on ATC development was revealed by integrated analyses of copy number alteration and transcriptional regulatory network. Multiple genes in differentiation-related pathways (e.g., EMT) were involved as the downstream targets of CREB3L1, increased expression of which can thus predict higher relapse risk of PTC. Collectively, our study provided insights into the heterogeneity and molecular evolution of thyroid cancer and highlighted the potential driver role of CREB3L1 in its dedifferentiation process.
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