Aug 28, 2016

Single-nucleus RNA-seq of differentiating human myoblasts reveals the extent of fate heterogeneity

Nucleic Acids Research
Weihua ZengAli Mortazavi

Abstract

Myoblasts are precursor skeletal muscle cells that differentiate into fused, multinucleated myotubes. Current single-cell microfluidic methods are not optimized for capturing very large, multinucleated cells such as myotubes. To circumvent the problem, we performed single-nucleus transcriptome analysis. Using immortalized human myoblasts, we performed RNA-seq analysis of single cells (scRNA-seq) and single nuclei (snRNA-seq) and found them comparable, with a distinct enrichment for long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in snRNA-seq. We then compared snRNA-seq of myoblasts before and after differentiation. We observed the presence of mononucleated cells (MNCs) that remained unfused and analyzed separately from multi-nucleated myotubes. We found that while the transcriptome profiles of myoblast and myotube nuclei are relatively homogeneous, MNC nuclei exhibited significant heterogeneity, with the majority of them adopting a distinct mesenchymal state. Primary transcripts for microRNAs (miRNAs) that participate in skeletal muscle differentiation were among the most differentially expressed lncRNAs, which we validated using NanoString. Our study demonstrates that snRNA-seq provides reliable transcriptome quantification for cells that are ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Single-Cell Analysis
Myoblasts
Study
Small Nuclear RNA
Giant Cells
RNA, Untranslated
Sequence Determinations, RNA
Bone Marrow Stromal Cells
RNA, Small Temporal
Immortalization

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