Performance of 16S Metagenomic Profiling in Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded versus Fresh-Frozen Colorectal Cancer Tissues
Performance of 16S Metagenomic Profiling in Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded versus Fresh-Frozen Colorectal Cancer Tissues, 2021 (2.985Mb)
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues represent the most widely available clinical material to study colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the accuracy and clinical validity of FFPE microbiome profiling in CRC is uncertain. Here, we compared the microbial composition of 10 paired fresh-frozen (FF) and FFPE CRC tissues using 16S rRNA sequencing and RNA-ISH. Both sample types showed different microbial diversity and composition. FF samples were enriched in archaea and representative CRC-associated bacteria, such as Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Fusobacteria. Conversely, FFPE samples were mainly enriched in typical contaminants, such as Sphingomonadales and Rhodobacterales. RNA-ISH in FFPE tissues confirmed the presence of CRC-associated bacteria, such as Fusobacterium and Bacteroides, as well as Propionibacterium allowing discrimination between tumor-associated and contaminant taxa. An internal quality index showed that the degree of similarity within sample pairs inversely correlated with the dominance of contaminant taxa. Given the importance of FFPE specimens for larger studies in human cancer genomics, our findings may provide useful indications on potential confounding factors to consider for accurate and reproducible metagenomics analyses.
16S gene sequencing; Colorectal cancer; Microbiome
Borgognone A, Serna G, Noguera-Julian M, Alonso L, Parera M, Català-Moll F, et al. Performance of 16S Metagenomic Profiling in Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded versus Fresh-Frozen Colorectal Cancer Tissues. Cancers. 2021 Oct 29;13(21):5421
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