Jun 7, 2016, single cell transcription and methylation analysis have become the powerful tools for single cell research. However, it is difficult to reveal the direct correlation between DNA methylation and gene expression in single cells. This is because there is a large difference between the cells, and we can not detect a cell’s transcription and methylation at the same time.
CD Genomics team solved the problem with a new sequencing method–scMT-seq. This method can be used to simultaneously analyze the transcription and methylation of single cells.
The researchers used this method to study sensory neurons, and revealed the heterogeneity of the cell’s transcriptional and methylation groups. However, most of these differences are not caused by promoter methylation. For example, the expression level of promoter with CpG gene is related to genomic methylation. This study showed that scMT-seq can be used to detect the transcription, methylation and single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNP) in the single cell, and then resolve the regulation mechanism of epigenetic gene.
Previously, single cell RNA sequencing revealed the genetic program of early embryos in human and mouse. The results will produce greater impact in stem cell purification, classification and clinical treatment fields, and will also improve the human assisted reproductive technology and birth quality.
The field of single cell genomics has developed rapidly in recent years, revealing a number of important clues for the complex biological system. Those include ecological diversity of microbial communities and genome of human cancers. In January this year Nature Reviews Genetics magazine published an important review, introducing comprehensively the development of single cell genome sequencing.