Single-cell chromatin accessibility reveals principles of regulatory variation.
ABSTRACT: Cell-to-cell variation is a universal feature of life that affects a wide range of biological phenomena, from developmental plasticity to tumour heterogeneity. Although recent advances have improved our ability to document cellular phenotypic variation, the fundamental mechanisms that generate variability from identical DNA sequences remain elusive. Here we reveal the landscape and principles of mammalian DNA regulatory variation by developing a robust method for mapping the accessible genome of individual cells by assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) integrated into a programmable microfluidics platform. Single-cell ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) maps from hundreds of single cells in aggregate closely resemble accessibility profiles from tens of millions of cells and provide insights into cell-to-cell variation. Accessibility variance is systematically associated with specific trans-factors and cis-elements, and we discover combinations of trans-factors associated with either induction or suppression of cell-to-cell variability. We further identify sets of trans-factors associated with cell-type-specific accessibility variance across eight cell types. Targeted perturbations of cell cycle or transcription factor signalling evoke stimulus-specific changes in this observed variability. The pattern of accessibility variation in cis across the genome recapitulates chromosome compartments de novo, linking single-cell accessibility variation to three-dimensional genome organization. Single-cell analysis of DNA accessibility provides new insight into cellular variation of the 'regulome'.
Project description:Cell-to-cell variation is a universal feature of life that impacts a wide range of biological phenomena, from developmental plasticity to tumor heterogeneity. While recent advances have improved our ability to document cellular phenotypic variation the fundamental mechanisms that generate variability from identical DNA sequences remain elusive. Here we reveal the landscape and principles of cellular DNA regulatory variation by developing a robust method for mapping the accessible genome of individual cells via assay of transposase accessible chromatin sequencing (ATAC-seq). Single-cell ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) maps from hundreds of single-cells in aggregate closely resemble accessibility profiles from tens of millions of cells and provides insights into cell-to-cell variation. Accessibility variance is systematically associated with specific trans-factors and cis-elements, and we discover combinations of trans-factors associated with either induction or suppression of cell-to-cell variability. We further identify sets of trans-factors associated with cell-type specific accessibility variance across 6 cell types. Targeted perturbations of cell cycle or transcription factor signaling evoke stimulus-specific changes in this observed variability. The pattern of accessibility variation in cis across the genome recapitulates chromosome topological domains de novo, linking single-cell accessibility variation to three-dimensional genome organization. All together, single-cell analysis of DNA accessibility provides new insight into cellular variation of the “regulome.” Profiles of single cell epigenomes, assayed using scATAC-seq, across 8 cell types and 4 targeted cell manipulations. The complete data set contains a total of 1,632 assayed wells.
Project description:Single-cell ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) profiles the chromatin accessibility landscape at single cell level, thus revealing cell-to-cell variability in gene regulation. However, the high dimensionality and sparsity of scATAC-seq data often complicate the analysis. Here, we introduce a method for analyzing scATAC-seq data, called Single-Cell ATAC-seq analysis via Latent feature Extraction (SCALE). SCALE combines a deep generative framework and a probabilistic Gaussian Mixture Model to learn latent features that accurately characterize scATAC-seq data. We validate SCALE on datasets generated on different platforms with different protocols, and having different overall data qualities. SCALE substantially outperforms the other tools in all aspects of scATAC-seq data analysis, including visualization, clustering, and denoising and imputation. Importantly, SCALE also generates interpretable features that directly link to cell populations, and can potentially reveal batch effects in scATAC-seq experiments.
Project description:Single-cell ATAC-seq (scATAC) yields sparse data that make conventional analysis challenging. We developed chromVAR (http://www.github.com/GreenleafLab/chromVAR), an R package for analyzing sparse chromatin-accessibility data by estimating gain or loss of accessibility within peaks sharing the same motif or annotation while controlling for technical biases. chromVAR enables accurate clustering of scATAC-seq profiles and characterization of known and de novo sequence motifs associated with variation in chromatin accessibility.
Project description:Conventional high-throughput genomic technologies for mapping regulatory element activities in bulk samples such as ChIP-seq, DNase-seq and FAIRE-seq cannot analyze samples with small numbers of cells. The recently developed low-input and single-cell regulome mapping technologies such as ATAC-seq and single-cell ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) allow analyses of small-cell-number and single-cell samples, but their signals remain highly discrete or noisy. Compared to these regulome mapping technologies, transcriptome profiling by RNA-seq is more widely used. Transcriptome data in single-cell and small-cell-number samples are more continuous and often less noisy. Here, we show that one can globally predict chromatin accessibility and infer regulatory element activities using RNA-seq. Genome-wide chromatin accessibility predicted by RNA-seq from 30 cells can offer better accuracy than ATAC-seq from 500 cells. Predictions based on single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) can more accurately reconstruct bulk chromatin accessibility than using scATAC-seq. Integrating ATAC-seq with predictions from RNA-seq increases the power and value of both methods. Thus, transcriptome-based prediction provides a new tool for decoding gene regulatory circuitry in samples with limited cell numbers.
Project description:SUMMARY:Single-cell assay of transposase-accessible chromatin followed by sequencing (scATAC-seq) is an emerging new technology for the study of gene regulation with single-cell resolution. The data from scATAC-seq are unique-sparse, binary and highly variable even within the same cell type. As such, neither methods developed for bulk ATAC-seq nor single-cell RNA-seq data are appropriate. Here, we present Destin, a bioinformatic and statistical framework for comprehensive scATAC-seq data analysis. Destin performs cell-type clustering via weighted principle component analysis, weighting accessible chromatin regions by existing genomic annotations and publicly available regulomic datasets. The weights and additional tuning parameters are determined via model-based likelihood. We evaluated the performance of Destin using downsampled bulk ATAC-seq data of purified samples and scATAC-seq data from seven diverse experiments. Compared to existing methods, Destin was shown to outperform across all datasets and platforms. For demonstration, we further applied Destin to 2088 adult mouse forebrain cells and identified cell-type-specific association of previously reported schizophrenia GWAS loci. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION:Destin toolkit is freely available as an R package at https://github.com/urrutiag/destin. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Project description:We present Model-based AnalysEs of Transcriptome and RegulOme (MAESTRO), a comprehensive open-source computational workflow ( http://github.com/liulab-dfci/MAESTRO ) for the integrative analyses of single-cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) and ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) data from multiple platforms. MAESTRO provides functions for pre-processing, alignment, quality control, expression and chromatin accessibility quantification, clustering, differential analysis, and annotation. By modeling gene regulatory potential from chromatin accessibilities at the single-cell level, MAESTRO outperforms the existing methods for integrating the cell clusters between scRNA-seq and scATAC-seq. Furthermore, MAESTRO supports automatic cell-type annotation using predefined cell type marker genes and identifies driver regulators from differential scRNA-seq genes and scATAC-seq peaks.
Project description:Characterizing epigenetic heterogeneity at the cellular level is a critical problem in the modern genomics era. Assays such as single cell ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq) offer an opportunity to interrogate cellular level epigenetic heterogeneity through patterns of variability in open chromatin. However, these assays exhibit technical variability that complicates clear classification and cell type identification in heterogeneous populations. We present scABC, an R package for the unsupervised clustering of single-cell epigenetic data, to classify scATAC-seq data and discover regions of open chromatin specific to cell identity.
Project description:ATAC-seq is a recently developed method to identify the areas of open chromatin in a cell. These regions usually correspond to active regulatory elements and their location profile is unique to a given cell type. When done at single-cell resolution, ATAC-seq provides an insight into the cell-to-cell variability that emerges from otherwise identical DNA sequences by identifying the variability in the genomic location of open chromatin sites in each of the cells. This paper presents Scasat (single-cell ATAC-seq analysis tool), a complete pipeline to process scATAC-seq data with simple steps. Scasat treats the data as binary and applies statistical methods that are especially suitable for binary data. The pipeline is developed in a Jupyter notebook environment that holds the executable code along with the necessary description and results. It is robust, flexible, interactive and easy to extend. Within Scasat we developed a novel differential accessibility analysis method based on information gain to identify the peaks that are unique to a cell. The results from Scasat showed that open chromatin locations corresponding to potential regulatory elements can account for cellular heterogeneity and can identify regulatory regions that separates cells from a complex population.
Project description:The assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) is widely used to identify regulatory regions throughout the genome. However, very few studies have been performed at the single cell level (scATAC-seq) due to technical challenges. Here we developed a simple and robust plate-based scATAC-seq method, combining upfront bulk Tn5 tagging with single-nuclei sorting. We demonstrate that our method works robustly across various systems, including fresh and cryopreserved cells from primary tissues. By profiling over 3000 splenocytes, we identify distinct immune cell types and reveal cell type-specific regulatory regions and related transcription factors.
Project description:Cellular identity between generations of developing cells is propagated through the epigenome particularly via the accessible parts of the chromatin. It is now possible to measure chromatin accessibility at single-cell resolution using single-cell assay for transposase accessible chromatin (scATAC-seq), which can reveal the regulatory variation behind the phenotypic variation. However, single-cell chromatin accessibility data are sparse, binary, and high dimensional, leading to unique computational challenges. To overcome these difficulties, we developed PRISM, a computational workflow that quantifies cell-to-cell chromatin accessibility variation while controlling for technical biases. PRISM is a novel multidimensional scaling-based method using angular cosine distance metrics coupled with distance from the spatial centroid. PRISM takes differences in accessibility at each genomic region between single cells into account. Using data generated in our lab and publicly available, we showed that PRISM outperforms an existing algorithm, which relies on the aggregate of signal across a set of genomic regions. PRISM showed robustness to noise in cells with low coverage for measuring chromatin accessibility. Our approach revealed the previously undetected accessibility variation where accessible sites differ between cells but the total number of accessible sites is constant. We also showed that PRISM, but not an existing algorithm, can find suppressed heterogeneity of accessibility at CTCF binding sites. Our updated approach uncovers new biological results with profound implications on the cellular heterogeneity of chromatin architecture.