N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is an abundant RNA modification that plays critical roles in RNA regulation and cellular function. Global m6A profiling has revealed important aspects of m6A distribution and function, but to date such studies have been restricted to large populations of cells. Researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine have developed a method to identify m6A sites transcriptome-wide in single cells. They uncovered surprising heterogeneity in the presence and abundance of m6A sites across individual cells and identify differentially methylated mRNAs across the cell cycle. Additionally, the researchers show that cellular subpopulations can be distinguished based on their RNA methylation signatures, independent from gene expression. These studies reveal fundamental features of m6A that have been missed by m6A profiling of bulk cells and suggest the presence of cell-intrinsic mechanisms for m6A deposition.
scDART-seq reveals distinct m6A signatures and mRNA methylation heterogeneity in single cells
Tegowski M, Flamand MN, Meyer KD. (2022) scDART-seq reveals distinct m6A signatures and mRNA methylation heterogeneity in single cells. Mol Cell [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]