Rational reprogramming of cellular states by combinatorial perturbation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jialei DuanGary Hon


Ectopic expression of transcription factors (TFs) can reprogram cell state. However, due to the large combinatorial space of possible TF cocktails, it remains difficult to identify TFs that reprogram specific cell types. Here, we develop Reprogram-Seq to experimentally screen thousands of TF cocktails for reprogramming performance. Reprogram-Seq leverages organ-specific cell atlas data with single-cell perturbation and computational analysis to predict, evaluate, and optimize TF combinations that reprogram a cell type of interest. Focusing on the cardiac system, we perform Reprogram-Seq on MEFs using an undirected library of 48 cardiac factors and separately on a directed library of 10 epicardial-related TFs. We identify a novel combination of 3 TFs which efficiently reprogram MEFs to epicardial-like cells that are transcriptionally, molecularly, morphologically, and functionally similar to primary epicardial cells. Reprogram-Seq holds promise to accelerate the generation of specific cell types for regenerative medicine.

Related Concepts

Transcription Factor
Anatomical Space Structure
Fluorouracil/Methotrexate Protocol
Sendai cocktail
Protein Expression
Regenerative Medicine
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