October 29, 2020

Single-cell profiling of histone modifications in the mouse brain

The development of the mouse central nervous system (CNS) involves coordinated execution of transcriptional and epigenetic programs. These programs have been extensively studied through single-cell technologies in a pursuit to characterize the underlying cell heterogeneity. However, histone modifications pose additional layers of both positive and negative regulation that defines cellular identity. Here we show that the Cut&Tag technology can be coupled with a droplet-based single cell library preparation platform to produce high quality chromatin modifications data at a single cell resolution in tens of thousands of cells. We apply single-cell Cut&Tag (scC&T) to probe histone modifications characteristic of active promoters (H3K4me3), active promoters and enhancers (H3K27ac), active gene bodies (H3K36me3) and inactive regions (H3K27me3) and generate scC&T profiles for almost 50,000 cells. scC&T profiles of each of these histone modifications were sufficient to determine cell identity and deconvolute at single cell level regulatory principles such as promoter bivalency, spreading of H3K4me3 and promoter-enhancer connectivity. Moreover, we used scC&T to investigate the single-cell chromatin occupancy of transcription factor Olig2 and the cohesin complex component Rad21. Our results indicate that analysis of histone modifications and transcription factor occupancy at a single cell resolution can provide unique insights of epigenomic landscapes in the CNS. We also provide an online resource that can be used to interactively explore the data at https://castelobranco.shinyapps.io/BrainCutAndTag2020/.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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