Kidney development is a complex process involving multiple interacting and transitioning cell types. Drop-seq single-cell technology, which measures gene expression from many thousands of individual cells, has been used to characterize these cellular differentiation changes that underlie organ development. However, the alternative splicing of many genes creates an additional layer of cellular heterogeneity that Drop-seq technology cannot measure.
Researchers at Bar-Ilan University have now used full transcript length single-cell RNA sequencing to characterize alternative splicing in the mouse embryonic kidney, with particular attention to the identification of genes that are alternatively spliced during the transition from mesenchymal to epithelial cell states, as well as their splicing regulators. These results improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie kidney development.