OpTAG (optical cell tagging) is a novel chemical platform for attaching functional tags onto cell surfaces in a spatially resolved manner. In combination with cell sorting and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), OpTAG-seq enables spatially resolved scRNA-seq.
Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has emerged as a powerful tool for profiling gene expression of distinct cell populations at the single-cell level. However, the information of the positions of cells within the multicellular samples is missing in scRNA-seq datasets. To overcome this limitation, researchers at Peking University have developed OpTAG (optical cell tagging) as a new chemical platform for attaching functional tags onto cell surfaces in a spatially resolved manner. With OpTAG, these researchers establish OpTAG-seq, which enables spatially resolved scRNA-seq. They apply OpTAG-seq to investigate the spatially defined transcriptional program in migrating cancer cells and identified a list of genes that are potential regulators for cancer cell migration and invasion. OpTAG-seq provides a convenient method for mapping cellular heterogeneity with spatial information within multicellular biological systems.