Cell differentiation and function are regulated across multiple layers of gene regulation, including modulation of gene expression by changes in chromatin accessibility. However, differentiation is an asynchronous process precluding a temporal understanding of regulatory events leading to cell fate commitment.
Researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard developed simultaneous high-throughput ATAC and RNA expression with sequencing (SHARE-seq), a highly scalable approach for measurement of chromatin accessibility and gene expression in the same single cell, applicable to different tissues. Using 34,774 joint profiles from mouse skin, they developed a computational strategy to identify cis-regulatory interactions and define domains of regulatory chromatin (DORCs) that significantly overlap with super-enhancers. During lineage commitment, chromatin accessibility at DORCs precedes gene expression, suggesting that changes in chromatin accessibility may prime cells for lineage commitment. The researchers computationally infer chromatin potential as a quantitative measure of chromatin lineage-priming and use it to predict cell fate outcomes. SHARE-seq is an extensible platform to study regulatory circuitry across diverse cells in tissues.
Workflow for measuring scATAC and scRNA from the same cell using SHARE-seq