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Defining human cardiac transcription factor hierarchies using integrated single-cell heterogeneity analysis

Churko, J.M., Garg, P., Treutlein, B. et al.

Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) have become a powerful tool for human disease modeling and therapeutic testing. However, their use remains limited by their immaturity and heterogeneity. To characterize the source of this heterogeneity, we applied complementary single-cell RNA-seq and bulk RNA-seq technologies over time during hiPSC cardiac differentiation and in the adult heart. Using integrated transcriptomic and splicing analysis, more than half a dozen distinct single-cell populations were observed, several of which were coincident at a single time-point, day 30 of differentiation. To dissect the role of distinct cardiac transcriptional regulators associated with each cell population, we systematically tested the effect of a gain or loss of three transcription factors (NR2F2, TBX5, and HEY2), using CRISPR genome editing and ChIP-seq, in conjunction with patch clamp, calcium imaging, and CyTOF analysis. These targets, data, and integrative genomics analysis methods provide a powerful platform for understanding in vitro cellular heterogeneity.

Citation

Churko, J.M., Garg, P., Treutlein, B. et al. "Defining human cardiac transcription factor hierarchies using integrated single-cell heterogeneity analysis" Nature Communications (2018): 4,906